The Boards of Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges and SAC have today announced their formal agreement to merge.
The four partners believe the merger presents a unique opportunity to combine and enhance their valued strengths. Their vision is of a dynamic and successful approach to Higher and Further Education, high quality research and consultancy provision within a single, integrated organisation.
This truly joined-up approach across these three complementary ‘knowledge exchange’ services is of significant value to all with an interest in land-based activities – be they learners, businesses, communities or policy-makers.
Today’s announcement follows consultation and planning among the college partners, their staff, students and stakeholders. The new merged College will officially come into existence on 1 August 2012 following approval by the Cabinet Secretary.
The new College will be titled ‘SRUC’. It will become the first University College in Scotland in a process that will take a further 12-18 months but will culminate in SRUC being known as ‘Scotland’s Rural University College’.
The college partners have appointed SAC’s Chief Executive & Principal, Professor Bob Webb, as Chief Executive & Principal of SRUC.
Financial due diligence will be finalised over the coming weeks, a process which is vital in securing a strong, sound and successful future for SRUC.
A Shadow Board, with representatives from all of the colleges, is now being established to drive progress and action ahead of 1 August, when the new SRUC Board will assume responsibility.
SAC Consulting and the services it provides to its clients will continue uninterrupted as part of the new SRUC.
Andy Robb, Chairman of the Merger Partnership Board said: “SRUC will bring together the features of four very successful colleges in their own right. It will be the first fully integrated tertiary education, research and consultancy institution for the rural and land-based sectors in Europe”.
“We are very excited about the fact that, for the first time in Scotland, learners and stakeholders will have comprehensive and integrated expertise available to them for the full range of skills, training, education, research and business support.”
Lord Jamie Lindsay, Chairman of the new SRUC Board, said: “SRUC will serve a national and international constituency and be an organisation of which staff, students and indeed Scotland as a whole can be proud. “