Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We've got loadsa students

Super-university or super-polytechnic?

Allegedly, Mark Batho, head of the Scottish Executive's Lifelong Learning Group has been advising Nicol Stephen and Allan Wilson that Dumfries and Galloway and G doesn't need Glasgow University - what we really, really need is a New Superuniversity. See it deliver education results faster than a speeding bullet, more powerfully than an express locomotive...

Liberal Arts? Pah! Scottish Enlightenment? What that?

From Scotsman Wed 7 Mar 2007
£21.2m merger to create super-university
A NEW super-university is to be created following the announcement yesterday of a £21.2 million merger between two higher education institutions.
The University of Paisley and Hamilton-based Bell College have received ministerial approval for the tie-in, scheduled to take place this August.

The new body, to be called the University of the West of Scotland, will have almost 16,600 students and four campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley.
However, it will not be Scotland's largest higher education institution - Glasgow University is the biggest, with 25,100 students, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Offering a range of courses from HNC up to degree level, the merged institution will also have the country's largest school of health, nursing and midwifery.
The announcement comes at a time when the higher education sector is under financial pressure.
Professor Seamus McDaid, principal and vice-chancellor of Paisley University and principal-designate of the new institution, said: "Through merger, we will create a new and unique, regional university that delivers internationally informed higher education.
"We aim to have a big influence on the economic, social and cultural development of the west of Scotland through the provision of high-quality, inclusive higher education and innovative applied research."
The merged institution will provide a local university for 30 per cent of Scotland's population.
Professor Alex MacLennan, principal of Bell College and vice principal- designate of the new institution, said the tie-in would give people in Lanarkshire their own local university for the first time.
Nicol Stephen, the Deputy First Minister, approved the merger in his capacity as minister for enterprise and lifelong learning. He said: "The next academic year will be an exciting one for staff and almost 17,000 students alike and I look forward to seeing the new university's progress."
A spokeswoman for Universities Scotland said: "Mergers are effective where there is a business model with clear benefits that has been negotiated from the bottom up at local level, as has happened in this case.
"They only work when two institutions have clearly identified that the education and services they provide would be enhanced by merging.
"The higher-education sector will continue to innovate and deliver for Scotland in the best way that we possibly can," the spokeswoman said.
The news comes only weeks after Glasgow University announced it was to pull out of the Dumfries campus, which it shares with Bell College and the University of Paisley.
Dumfries and Galloway College is due to move to the site next year.
Glasgow University said it was losing £800,000 a year from its involvement in the Crichton campus, a former psychiatric hospital set in 85 acres of grounds.
Sir Muir Russell, principal of Glasgow, said that the Scottish Funding Council's refusal to pay for more of its students to attend the campus had forced the move.
The university, which will end admissions to the Crichton campus later this year, has 230 students on the site, but only 88 of them are funded from the public purse.


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