Speaking at Elmwood’s annual graduation ceremony last Friday, Mr Crooks told Graduands and guests that he feared that the College’s core purpose was threatened by ‘potentially catastrophic cuts’ in public sector funding. He said that his message to the Scottish government was that further education was not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
Mr Crooks said, “To cut off investment is to cut off the potential for development in skills for the economy; to cut off the potential for companies to grow; to cut off individuals’ hopes of earning a better living. We have undertaken our own studying Scotland’s colleges, and for every £1 spent in further education, the economy gains by £3.20. Now is the time to invest in the recovery and to invest in further education as part of the solution to recession.”
Mr Crooks went on to tell his audience that the last academic year saw Elmwood reach its highest-ever number of full-time students and although it received some funding the college had had to find creative ways of accommodating the increasing numbers.
He said it still had to apply the mantra ‘do more, with less, to a higher standard’. Mr Crooks praised all teaching staff at the college and congratulated the Graduands before handing over to the guest speaker, Professor Bill McIntosh, principal of Carnegie College, who presented the certificates.