Scotland’s four leading colleges for the land-based industries have launched a public and stakeholder consultation seeking input into their proposal to merge.
Barony College, Elmwood College, Oatridge College and the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) have come together to look at how the increasing demands of the land-based sector could be met by a new institute of further and higher education which combines their strengths and expertise.
The ‘Going Further’ consultation will communicate proposals for a new college which will encompass learning, research and consultancy. Staff and students across the colleges, local communities, industry partners and other stakeholders are being encouraged to voice their opinion on the proposals.
The land-based industries are crucial to the Scottish economy. The sector contributes nearly 70,000* jobs to the economy, and around 20,000* Scottish businesses operate in the land-based and environmental industries. The colleges believe the creation of a national land-based college for Scotland would help support the next generation of workers and businesses in this key industry.
The consultation runs from the 26th March to the 7th May (inclusive). A website containing a link to the merger document has been launched with information on how to feed into the consultation. Over the coming weeks, open events will be held at each of the colleges’ campuses inviting questions and providing more information on the proposals.
Andy Robb, chair of the Going Further Partnership Board said, “The land-based sector is of vital importance to the Scottish economy; to the maintenance of our unique and beautiful landscape and wildlife; and to our local communities. Our aim is to develop a new college that reflects the changing and often challenging needs of this important sector.
“This is an exciting venture for the four institutions. We already have a successful history of working in partnership. Combining our unique and complementary expertise will create a stronger college with national and international standing. It will bring many new opportunities for our students, staff, clients and industry partners.
“The input of our stakeholders will help shape the new college and we welcome feedback on the proposed college.”
If you wish to view the consultation document it is available here.