27th July 2017

Shetland colleges say they are top of the class

, by , in News

Shetland College UHI says it has achieved the highest percentage in Scotland of full-time further education students who completed their courses successfully during 2015-16.

The tally of 81.6 per cent compares favourably with the national success rate of 65.5 per cent. The stats also include students from the NAFC Marine Centre following the collaborative agreement entered into by the two organisations during the 2015-16 session.

However, the college admits improvement is needed in other areas, where pass rates do not compare as well as they should with the Scottish further education sector as a whole.

These include:
• Part-time students.
• Students under 18 on courses lasting 160 hours or more.
• Female students on courses lasting 160 hours or more.

The final performance indicator, published by the Scottish Funding Council, relates to the amount of student activity that colleges were funded for in 2015-16 and the extent to which colleges exceeded or missed their activity targets.

The college says the closer working relationship forged between Shetland College UHI and the NAFC during 2015-16 revealed a “significant need” for more further education to be provided, and funded, in order to meet growing demand.

Chairman of the Shetland College board, Peter Campbell, said: “I’m very encouraged that we’re leading the national table in terms of completion of courses and that it is a reflection on the work that is put in by both staff and students.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the NAFC, David Sandison, added: “This bodes well for the future of the sector in Shetland where we are clearly meeting and exceeding targets.

“We are delivering what the Shetland community is looking for and what the economy needs.”

Principal of the colleges, Willie Shannon, said: “Exceeding activity targets and having the highest completion rate for courses is a confidence-booster for everyone involved in the sector in Shetland.

“The challenge is to make sure that the money follows the activity. For that we need extra money coming in to Shetland so that we can continue to meet demand and deliver for the community.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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