College merger is best, say chiefs

THE heads of two North-east colleges have insisted a planned merger is the best for the region.

Principals at Banff and Buchan College and Aberdeen College moved to allay fears among students that services, courses, and jobs could be lost.

The two colleges serve the Ellon area with competition currently being quite fierce as they fight for students to fill courses.

Banff and Buchan principal Paul Sherrington said: “The status quo was not an option that was clear. We are listening, we are aware of the concerns and know we need bring out the best from both colleges. We also want to make sure that students are right at the centre of these plans.”

Aberdeen College principal Rob Wallen also said the staff would remain where they were: “It is not cost effective to have large numbers of staff travelling up and down the A90.”

Plans for the proposed merger emerged last year after the Scottish Government tabled new legislation to change the way education in Scotland is delivered. A business case for the combined college will be examined by the Scottish Government, which will make a final decision.