SCOTTISH colleges should be rounded up into 12 regions to work more collaboratively to provide a comprehensive range of courses delivered locally according to the author of a higher education review, but the Borders is the only region identified in the report to include just a single college, Borders College.
Education Secretary, Michael Russell announced the recommendations of the higher education review last week: as well as the establishment of college regions, Professor von Prondzynski’s review also suggests the removal of a rule debarring people over 70 from being appointed to the governing body of a college; and recommends that the Scottish Government creates oa new further education strategic forum
Speaking after the review findings were made public last week, Mr Russell said: “Our system of post-16 education serves young people in Scotland well.
“Our colleges and universities do a good job of equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need for the workplace. However, that doesn’t mean we are complacent, we need to make sure our system is the best it can be.
“I believe developing a regional basis for colleges will make the sector more efficient and responsive to the needs of students and local economies. This approach was proposed in two Scottish Government consultations last year and regionalisation has been strongly supported by the college sector and others in their responses.
“I will now create 12 college regions. I expect colleges within these groups to work and plan together and I expect provision to continue to be delivered locally. We will now work with the sector and the Scottish Funding Council to put these new arrangements in practice.
“I am also pleased to publish the reviews carried out by Professor Griggs and Professor von Prondzynski into further and higher education governance. There is much in both of these reports that makes sense and I believe they can help develop the way our institutions are managed.
“I plan to take the recommendations of these reviews forward with the further and higher education sectors, as we reform post-16 education and put learners at the centre of our education system.”