College board supports college merger

Plans to merge tertiary education, research and training in the isles have been backed by the SIC’s college board.

A full business case was put before councillors at a meeting this morning, with chairman Peter Campbell saying “this is a meeting that is clearly the most significant meeting the college board has ever held”.

Councillors backed a recommendation that brings together Shetland College, the NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland as a new college under the University of Highlands and Islands.

It is being discussed at meeting throughout the week, going before the full council on Wednesday.

The move, according to the business case would save about £12.2 million over a five-year period “streamlining and maximising the efficiency of the college structure and curriculum, whilst improving outcomes delivered for students and staff”.

However, Shetland South councillor George Smith had concerns about the curriculum in future, as well as how a reduction in staff and a push for more income in the plan would work.

More in Friday’s Shetland Times.



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  • Robert Sinclair

    • December 14th, 2018 17:15

    As an early Principal of NAFC, and also a Head of Department, Depute Principal and Principal of a Scottish Funding Council funded college offering fisheries and marine education, I would urge Board Members to be extremely cautious regarding the proposed merger. Unless it has changed considerably in the few years since I retired the SFC funding formula strongly mitigates against courses in maritime and engineering related subjects. The funding offered goes nowhere near meeting operational expenditure as it is based on head count with smaller classes being the norm due to the nature of the industry and health and safety considerations. We could only maintain our curriculum at Banff and Buchan due to industry contributions and offering a range of courses where we knew we could attract large numbers to balance the losses on maritime and engineering. The other factor is the large associated capital spend for marine simulation and engineering equipment. With news elsewhere of a bumper year for NAFC, be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.


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