GLASGOW'S three universities are to share in a £30million funding boost.

The money will see 850 extra university postgraduate places created each year in each of the next five years across 18 universities in Scotland.

The funding allocates 122 places at Glasgow University; 85 at Strathclyde; 51 at Glasgow Caledonian University; 35 at Glasgow School Of Art; 24 at the Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland; and 25 at the University Of The West Of Scotland, which has campuses in Ayr, Hamilton and Paisley.

The money, coming from the Scottish Funding Council, a Scottish Government body, is said to be benefiting energy, financial and business services, food and drink, life sciences, tourism and creative industries.

Scottish Education Secretary Michael Russell said: "This significant investment, more than £6.2m in 2013-14 alone, is a further sign of our commitment to providing exceptional education that meets the demands of our industry and economy and gives our students unprecedented opportunities.

"Starting next year, hundreds more postgraduate students will be able to pursue their specialities in key economic areas.

"Scotland's highly skilled workforce is an important factor in attracting inward investment and boosting our indigenous industries."

The extra places will also provide opportunities for part-time study.

Mark Batho, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: "Employers are increasingly looking to recruit people with postgraduate qualifications.

"This initiative responds positively to that demand."