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Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

Current role holder: Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP


Shirley-Anne Somerville was appointed Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science in May 2016.


Specific responsibilities are:

  • further education and colleges
  • higher education and universities
  • science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
  • student funding
  • youth work
  • widening access


Educated at Kirkcaldy High School, she then graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics (1996), followed by a Diploma in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling and a Diploma in Public Relations from Queen Margaret University College.

She has worked as a parliamentary researcher, a Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, and as a Media and Campaigns Officer at the Royal College of Nursing.

Shirley-Anne was previously an MSP for the Lothians region from 2007 to 2011, and returned to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 as MSP for Dunfermline.