Regionalisation and its implications was a major topic for discussion throughout The Gathering in August 2012. NUS Scotland’s Vice President Education, Graeme Kirkpatrick led a workshop for college student officers where they looked at the opportunities and challenges regionalisation offers to student engagement and students’ associations. Officers discussed in detail the impact issues such as increased travel times would have on different groups of students if some courses were to be consolidated on to one campus and looked at some possible solutions. The workshop also emphasised the need for officers to get themselves involved in their colleges’ workstreams and to be part of their colleges’ applications to the SFC’s Transformation Fund.
College regionalisation formed a key element of the conference’s closing speech where Graeme Kirkpatrick told college student officers that “despite the devastating budget cuts that you and your colleges are all facing, despite upheaval and the biggest reform the sector has seen in decades, you have a real opportunity. Regionalisation gives you a chance to create your vision of what a truly great College Association looks like. The officers at the new Edinburgh College have grasped this opportunity and created something that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. I know having spoken to many college officers today and over the last few weeks that you have similar ideas and ambitions. And I have no doubt that you will make it happen.”
Linda McLeod from the SFC spoke at the dinner about the Partnerships for Change project and the SFC’s wish to see students engaged in the changes in their colleges and of the SFC’s previous experience of the difference such involvement can make to a successful merger. The SFC welcomes the opportunity of working with NUS on this project and strengthening this joint working relationship.
The Partnerships for Change Consultants have been working with colleges over the summer and supporting student officers in their roles as members of their Partnership Boards, helping them to begin to prepare for the challenges of the year ahead. Partnerships for Change is a joint NUS Scotland and sparqs project that aims to support the student voice throughout regionalisation.
If you have any questions or need any help please contact your Regional Consultant. Their contact details may be found here: http://www.sparqs.ac.uk/upfiles/Contacts.doc