Students and staff marked the creation of four regional colleges across Scotland today.
From today North East Scotland College, Dundee and Angus College, Glasgow Kelvin College and New College Lanarkshire come into being, with students set to benefit from linked campuses and courses that will support them into work.
Cabinet Secretary for Education Michael Russell said:
“This is an exciting day with many events being held for staff and students to mark the occasion of these new larger colleges becoming a reality. It is a tribute to their hard work – and that of the college boards – that this milestone has been reached.
“The aim of these reforms has always been about making the college sector work for students, communities, staff and employers and creating opportunities for them to thrive.
“Colleges have a hugely important role in growing our local and national economies by developing people’s skills and getting them ready for work. By creating colleges of scale and influence, and combining resources and expertise, we make the journey onto further learning or into work easier.”
Laurence Howells, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said:
“College leaders and staff have worked really hard to make sure today’s mergers have progressed smoothly and quickly. As a result, we have a college sector that is stronger, more efficient and one where its core focus is on the skills and employability of learners and supporting local businesses and communities. This is a change for the better.”
John Henderson, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:
“Today is a milestone for the regionalisation process and marks the creation of Scotland’s newest educational establishments.
“Each of the new colleges is working to strengthen their offering to students and to local and regional employers, driving the Scottish economy as a whole. The college sector has gone through an unprecedented period of change and it has done so in a positive and tenacious manner.
“Congratulations to the staff and students of each of these colleges who have worked hard to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“We firmly believe that the creation of these new colleges enhances the capacity of the further education sector to better meet the needs of both students and employers.
“Through partnership with the local business community and making full use of the connectivity of Scotland’s network of Chambers of Commerce, we believe that it is possible to deliver a service responsive to employer needs that can help to maximise the job opportunities of students, directly contributing towards Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”
North East Scotland College is made up of Aberdeen and Banff and Buchan colleges.
Dundee and Angus colleges have merged to form Dundee and Angus College.
Glasgow Kelvin College brings together North Glasgow, Stow and John Wheatley colleges. It will host an official opening on November 4th, 2013.
Motherwell and Cumbernauld colleges will become New College Lanarkshire and the board has agreed to a request from Coatbridge College that it unite with them in 2014 to complete the merger.