Demonstration in support of UHI Shetland

Students and lecturers from UHI Shetland were today (Saturday)holding demonstration march in Lerwick today raising awareness over potential cuts to further and higher education courses.

Andrew Anderson, branch secretary of the union EIS-Fela, said the protest was intended to focus attention on the threat to courses at UHI Shetland.

The walk left from the Market Cross at noon and went along Commercial St, up through the Fort and onto the Town Hall.

Mr Anderson said the aim was for people to show their support to education in Shetland.

He added: “Further and Higher education courses and learning are under threat in Shetland.

“Show support for keeping a diverse range of local learning opportunities for Shetland, its communities, and its employers.

“Show support for further education – it plays a key role in closing the poverty-related achievement and attainment gap.

“Course cuts will affect Shetland residents from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds the most.” 

Demonstrators were going along to Islesburgh later to allow the public the opportunity to find out more about what the college offers – and what could be lost if the proposals go ahead. 

Mr Anderson added: “We are encouraging folk to speak up now before it’s too late.”

Speaking prior to the event, EIS-Fela President Marie Harley said: “Your college is under attack in terms of cuts to courses and provision, like all colleges in Scotland.

“However, there are particular issues for a geographically remote and island community like yourselves. The impact of these cuts will be devastating for your local community and once these cuts happen they will not be replaced. Staff won’t be there and courses won’t be there.

“This means cut in access for the most vulnerable learners. For learners who want to get back into learning or who are needing skills and want to get onto other courses that will change their lives. We know that education leads to getting people out of poverty.”


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