Telford no more, but new College is a class apart!
The vision to create a bigger, better and stronger college that will serve Edinburgh and the Lothians long into the future became a reality today with the launch of Edinburgh College. The new College is set on a clear path to provide improved opportunities and outcomes to everyone who walks through its door – and in turn help to kick-start the regional and national economy by delivering skilled people to those industry sectors where Scotland enjoys a competitive advantage.
New Principal Mandy Exley said the potential of Edinburgh College, both for students and for Edinburgh and Lothians, is limitless. She said: “This is a significant landmark in the history of education provision in Edinburgh and the Lothians. By being bigger and better, we can combine strengths and resources to give our students high quality skills that will allow them seize life-changing opportunities. Equally we will work hand in hand with businesses to ensure we are not just providing a curriculum of varied courses – but are actually focused on training future staff to work in those key industry sectors where there is high demand or in those sectors which have been identified as growth areas for Scotland. We want to be an economic powerhouse for the Edinburgh and Lothian region – helping to drive growth and prosperity to benefit both the local and national economy.”
The creation of Edinburgh College also marks the end of an era for three of Edinburgh’s most recognisable educational institutions – the College being a product of the merger of Edinburgh’s Telford College, Jewel & Esk College and Stevenson College.
Edinburgh College, which as a £60m business makes it the biggest FE college in Scotland, will accommodate more than 35,000 students – the biggest student body in Edinburgh. The College will employ around 1300 staff operate from four main campuses; Granton, Sighthill, Milton Road and Midlothian.
Mandy added: “In many respects today’s launch is just a start of a journey. We know there is a lot of hard work ahead to deliver our vision for the college. However, the depth and breadth of our staff talent and resources is enormous. By working together and ensuring staff and students play a key role in the decision-making, we can make Edinburgh College a real success story; a college that is inclusive, innovative and excellent. We know that this is a sad day for some as three institutions from Edinburgh’s educational landscape disappear. However, as Edinburgh College starts to deliver on its aims, I am confident it will become a name that will have real resonance across Scotland, the UK and internationally.”
The college in particular will look to focus on developing and promoting ‘centres of excellence’ in key learning fields; including engineering and construction (particularly renewables), hospitality and tourism services, creative industries, service industries, care professions and performing arts.
Ian McKay, Chair (Elect) of Edinburgh College, said the new Board will be looking to set the management team some tough targets both in the first year, and more crucially, in 2013-14, which will see the new college’s first full curriculum being rolled out.
He said: “Edinburgh College will be challenged to support economic growth by delivering the right people for real jobs through a high quality and evolving curriculum. It has an enormous role to play in offering hope and opportunity to our young people and providing the skills needed to benefit the regional and national economy. To achieve that, we will be looking to agree a series of objectives matched against positive outcomes that the college team can be measured against to ultimately demonstrate that Edinburgh College can deliver on its promises.”
Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “As one of Scotland’s largest colleges, Edinburgh College will have a key role to play across the country and particularly in Edinburgh and the Lothians. I believe it will offer new and greater opportunities for students and help make sure they have the skills and knowledge they need for jobs in the area. I know a lot of work has been required to deliver the new college and I am confident the college, staff and students will reap the rewards of this.”
Named after one of Scotland’s finest civil engineers, Telford College opened on Crewe Road South in 1968. The former Ainslie Park Secondary School was added as an annexe as the College population grew and space became an issue, and the College moved to it’s present – and final – custom-built home on Granton’s waterfront in September 2006.