City colleges to join forces?

Lnagside college
Lnagside college

LANGSIDE college could be merge with Cardonald and Anniesland colleges in a bid to tackle funding concerns.

The board of management at the Battlefield campus announced yesterday that the three colleges are now set to begin “exploratory merger discussions”.

Principal Graeme Hyslop OBE — who is set to step down in the summer amid a mass shake up of the board — says the collaboation is “essential given impending reductions in core funding”.

He told The Extra: “Through this merger, we hope to achieve progressive resource alignment.

“The new college will aim to ensure the maximum impact within its communities in the south and west of Glasgow.

“These are areas where educational under-achievement and disadvantage sit alongside ambitions to heighten the knowledge and skills of the community for the benefit of both individuals and the economy”.

Brian Keegan, chair of the board of management added: “This decision has not been taken lightly.

“The board is confident that the views of all staff and those of the students have been sought prior to reaching this decision.

“Within any proposed structure for a new merged college, students will still be the main focus of our activities”.

Staff representative Susan Spence spoke on behalf of our colleagues following news of the decision.

She told The Extra: “Langside college staff are proud of the college’s long tradition of providing a high quality and supportive learning environment.

“We look forward to working with colleagues from our sister colleges to ensure a merged college maintains the quality, level and provision of service by retaining the current student and staffing levels”.

The decision has also been met with a positive reaction from the student body, with Rebecca McCartney, president of the Langside college students’ association welcoming the merger plans.

“Local education for local students is something that needs to be protected”, she said, “we hope this is not lost within any future merger process”.

“It is our desire that the new college will enhance the student experience and retain Langside’s ethos and reputation for excellent learning and teaching”.

As of August 1 this year, Andrew Haddon, who currently serves as director of corporate services, will assume the post of principal on an interim basis.

The new £36.2 million campus at Langside college was officially opened by the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, MSP, on February 24 this year.