What Happens Next?
A number of stages have to be completed to secure official approval to merge the NAFC Marine Centre, Shetland College and Train Shetland to create a new tertiary education institution for Shetland (subject to ministerial approval, the ‘Shetland Institute’).
Ministerial Merger Business Case
The Ministerial Merger Business Case (MMBC) is the formal document that lays out the case for merging the three organisations to create a new institute, and the business (financial) case for the merger.
The final approved MMBC is available here.
The final MMBC has been approved by:
- the Shadow Board -18th March.
- the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust (NAFC) - 1st April.
- the Shetland Islands Council - 23rd April.
- the University of the Highlands and Islands - 8th May.
The Shadow Board has instructed the two colleges to carry out a consultation on the MMBC with staff, students and stakeholders.
Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
The approved MMBC was submitted to the Scottish Funding Council on 8th May.
The SFC will lead an evaluation visit to Shetland to meet stakeholders, including staff and students, to discuss the case for merger and responses to the consultation.
The SFC will carry out a financial analysis of the MMBC.
The SFC will then make an assessment of the case for the merger which will be discussed by the SFC Council Board who will provide formal advice to the Scottish Government (the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills).
The Scottish Government
The Scottish Government will carry out its own consultation (lasting up to 12 weeks).
The Scottish Government will consider the SFC advice and the consultation responses and make a recommendation to the Cabinet Secretary.
The Cabinet Secretary will decide whether to approve the proposed merger.
If approval is granted, a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) to create the new institute will be laid before the Scottish Parliament for approval (which will require about 28 days).
Conclusion - Vesting
Once the parliamentary process is complete and the SSI enacted the merger will be completed; the new institute will come into formal, legal existence and staff and assets will be transferred to it from the Shetland Islands Council and the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust (the process referred to as ‘vesting’).