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The management of the NAFC Marine Centre UHI, Shetland College UHI and Train Shetland have agreed to merge the three organisations to create a single new tertiary-education college for Shetland.

Shetland is host to three important resources for post-16 learning and skills: Train Shetland, the NAFC Marine Centre, and Shetland College. With an international reputation for marine and fisheries research, creative industries, and a great track record in delivering vocational training and apprenticeships, the partners are now preparing to build a new, merged college, meeting Shetland’s needs.

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Merger Business Case

The Merger Business Case (MBC) is the formal document that lays out the case for merging the three organisations to create a new institution, and the business (financial) case for the merger.

The full MBC is available here.

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What

The new college is building on a great track record, bringing together all three organisations under one Board of Directors and offering a "one stop shop" for all of Shetland’s learners: from people accessing learning in our outreach community facilities, to apprentices, cadets, Further Education, Higher Education, Post Graduate students and research. This blend of learners across a wide range of subjects and interests, as well as the incomparable communities of Shetland, and our college bases in Gremista and Scalloway, is what will make this college unique.

The new college will be a partner of the University of Highlands and Islands, enabling Shetland to benefit from opportunities and resources throughout the UHI network.

Why

There are some important drivers to this change:

  • Like many remote communities, in Shetland we strive to give high quality learning and choices to learners of all ages and circumstances. By coming together, we can use the experience and resources of the three organisations for the benefit of learners.
  • Shetland needs a sustainable college. Employers, school leavers and people who need to continue developing their skills want a local resource they can rely on in their plans for the future.
  • Shetland has an important development agenda across its public sector, working to make best use of all resources available to the islands, design, and sustain services so that our economy and communities prosper. Tertiary education opportunities are an important part of this future, and a merged college will be a key partner.

How

The unified college has been in discussion for several years. In December 2018 NAFC Marine Centre Board of Trustees and Shetland Islands Council agreed that a business case for the merger set out a range of benefits of a merged college.

A Project Manager employed by UHI is now supporting staff and stakeholders in all three organisations to plan for a unified college. When plans are complete, a proposal will be made to the Minister for Education and the Scottish Funding Council to become an assigned college to the UHI Regional College Board.