GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Monday 27 May 2024
 11.2°C   SE Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Education / College merger ‘on track’, councillors told

An archive image of the UHI Shetland Lerwick campus. Photo: Shetland News

COUNCILLORS have been reassured that the merger of Shetland’s college sector remains on track – despite its expected launch date slipping to summer next year.

Chairman of the Shetland College board Peter Campbell stressed: “We will get to a merged position and we will have a new single entity for tertiary education in Shetland.”

The long-awaited merger would see Shetland College, NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland come together as one entity under the UHI umbrella.

It has been heralded as way of making operations more efficient and saving the council, which currently operates the college and Train Shetland, a sizeable chunk of money in the process [about £1.2million].

However, the SIC did not originally budget for having to fund the two services in the 2020/21 financial year after the Scottish Funding Council confirmed it would not offer financial assistance prior to the merger taking place.

At a meeting of the full council on Thursday south mainland member Allison Duncan said the situation is costing the SIC a “fortune”.

“Can we have a clear commitment from officers when this will be finalised?” he asked.

Council chief executive Maggie Sandison said the ministerial business case for the merger was now in the hands of the Scottish Government, which has to undertake consultations.

“I really do think we are moving forward and we will be able to deliver this project,” she said.

Campbell added that the UHI, which already oversees Shetland College and the NAFC Marine Centre, has become more involved in the merger process.

He also said there are “set timetables that the project team have no control over”.

SIC development director Neil Grant also said the project was “on track”, while he praised the work of corporate services director Christine Ferguson and Shetland College principal Jane Lewis in the merger process.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.