Deal for agriculture colleges to unite

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A DEAL has been agreed that will mean a full merger between Elmwood and Oatridge agricultural colleges, together with the Scottish Agricultural College.

In March, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP, launched a concordat signed by representatives of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and the country’s three land-based colleges, which also includes Barony College near Dumfries.

It marked the latest progress in co-ordinating the delivery of education, skills and business support to Scotland’s land-based sector.

In a joint statement, Elmwood and Oatridge, at Cupar and Broxburn respectively, and the multi-campus SAC said:“We share a vision for the delivery of comprehensive skills, education and business support for Scotland’s land-based industries, built on world class and sector-leading research.

“We are committed to a new model for Scotland of an innovative, integrated model of academic and practical expertise, using the strengths of all partners in the transfer of knowledge to and from partners, stakeholders and the industry.”

Mr Russell commented: “This planned merger is excellent news. It comes just ahead of my plans next week to propose a range of reforms to post-16 learning in Scotland.

“I wish the partners well, and I look forward to hearing the outcome of discussions at Barony College in due course.”