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Letters / Masking a real problem

The closure of the Shetland College campus masks a real problem.

Decision in principle to move UHI to single campus in Scalloway

FE (further education) is to be downgraded to the extent that it will cease to meaningfully exist.

The school system does not work for every pupil, so it is handy to have another educational option available for when the student is ready to embrace FE.

In the future, those people will not be educated locally, their options will be to head south or not bother.

The closure of Shetland College, in particular, gutting out the Community Learning section, makes that point quite clearly.

I started working at Shetland College of Further Education in 1993. I was always clear that I was an FE lecturer.

The college then became a provider of higher education. It was at this point I felt that the college lost focus, lost the point of its existence.

While the Scottish Government and the UHI should be blamed for current mismanagement, SIC should get some blame too.

Their support for the college was grudging, they were always looking for ways to get the college off the books, shortly, not only off the books, also off the island!

The Shetland Charitable Trust should look at this situation, and consider how to maintain FE in Shetland. This is a cause worthy of support if ever there was one.

There is talk of merger of all UHI organisations in order to save the UHI, not necessarily for the good of the local organisations or communities.  Priorities are skewed.

What a sad mess.

Brian Nugent



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