The college was established over 30 years ago as a specialist horticultural and agricultural institution. Today we play a national strategic role in serving the needs of the rural land-based sector and more significantly have become the premier training provider to Scotland's growing golf industry.
Enrolling around 600 full-time and 2000 part-time students, the college has extensive accommodation and facilities including a 120ha farm and an 18-hole golf course. In 1995 we became the first institution in educational establishment in Europe to achieve the environmental ISO14001.
ISO14001 requires that the college examines all of its activities and assesses their environmental impact, draws up environmental objectives and produces a programme for their implementation. Their activities are verified and audited periodically, both internally and externally.
ISO14001 encourages students to take on board the environmental principles embodied within the college, the golf course and the farm. Institutional greening is designed to make environmentally aware thinking second nature in the way that health and safety issues have become integral to the taught curriculum.
Benefits to the wider community include the provision of: delegates to environmental committees and seminars; speakers at environmental conferences; articles and papers on environmental education; details of our ISO14001 system.
The environmental benefits of ISO14001 are self-evident. Current activities focus on conservation projects. A riverside walk has been created, large areas of hedging are being planted and restored, field margin buffer strips installed and a former landfill site converted to a nature reserve. Two fields are earmarked for flooding and conversion to permanent wetland.
By implementing ISO14001 the college has exceeded the requirements for sustainable development education as specified within 'Learning for Life'. It is at the forefront of research and development in this field. It serves as an exemplar to others in the field of environmental education.