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Will the establishment of a new college impact on the range of courses and opportunities available from 2020?

Will the establishment of a new college impact on the range of courses and opportunities available from 2020?

All colleges throughout Scotland have to ensure that the courses and opportunities they offer are affordable – that the funding made available by government bodies covers costs incurred throughout the college. This does mean that, in Shetland as everywhere else, we need to do all we can to help people apply for courses and apprenticeships so that they can continue.

We are also working hard to link the new college plans to the Shetland Island Council’s development plans; and to identify and bid for further investment.

Our ideal for the future is that learners have more opportunities to learn, and opportunities to learn in different ways.

Will the college still use its existing buildings?

Will the college still use its existing buildings?

Shetland Islands Council will prepare a plan in consultation with the Shadow Board to ensure the continuity of learning across the existing sites in Scalloway, Gremista and the outreach community facilities.

There is a strong commitment, however, to resolving the challenge of ensuring sufficient student accommodation is available for students from Shetland’s islands, and students and cadets coming to Shetland from elsewhere to study.

What has happened to NAFC and Shetland College existing Boards?

What has happened to NAFC and Shetland College existing Boards?

The existing Boards of Governance of NAFC Marine Centre and Shetland College remain in place until each separate college finally agrees to formally transfer to a new college.

Until this time, the Shadow Board will focus on developing everything it will need to run a new college – committees, policies, plans and the final proposal to Scottish Ministers. There will also need to be a legal entity – a company limited with charitable status – established.

When all this is in place, the existing Boards will “dissolve” and transfer their assets and staff to the new entity.

How will we know if the new college is a success?

How will we know if the new college is a success?

All merged colleges are evaluated soon after merging, by the Scottish Funding Council, to ensure their merger proposals and the planned benefits are being realised. These are published on the Funding Council website.

Education Scotland also has a role in ongoing quality assurance of learning, an external layer of quality assurance on top of the college’s own internal quality assurance. Education Scotland makes its reports public in its website.

The new college Board will be required to evaluate its governance and will make this (and all its governance activity) public on its website.

How will the new college be funded?

How will the new college be funded?

Like all colleges across Scotland, funding is challenging. It is vital the new college is ready and able to respond to, and create, opportunities for investment.

The Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland both fund courses and apprenticeships via the Regional Strategic Body (UHI) using national formulas for participation, completion and achievements. Partnership with UHI, and higher education student fees contribute to income.

NAFC Marine Centre has a history of attracting research grants and consultancy contracts with its high quality work and close links to fishing bodies.

Local partners, Shetland’s public bodies and employers, will play a key role in the college’s sustainability in many ways.

During the transition to the new college, some short term costs will be met by the Scottish Funding Council and Shetland Islands Council, to facilitate the merger process.