Glasgow & West Scotland

Three west of Scotland colleges in talks over merger

James Watt College - pic by Thomas Nugent/ Geograph
James Watt College in Greenock is one of the institutions looking to merge

A new west of Scotland super college could be created with the merger of three further education institutions.

The management boards of James Watt, Reid Kerr and Clydebank Colleges have all formalised their intentions to pursue a merger.

Further talks on the matter are scheduled to take place in 2012.

The proposal follows the creation last year of the city of Glasgow College through a merger of Central, Nautical and Metropolitan Colleges.

Student leaders at all three institutions involved in the latest merger proposals said it was vital that students' opinions and views were taken into consideration in the decision-making process.

Robin Parker, president of NUS Scotland, said: "The decision by Reid Kerr, James Watt and Clydebank to merge is not one that should acted upon quickly.

"If the government wants to be supportive of the kind of merger that is being planned in the west of Scotland, it needs to ensure that colleges have the resources to protect local access, student places and teaching quality.

"This merger could be positive for students at these colleges, but the students' associations must be involved every step of the way during the discussions to ensure that focus remains on improving education quality."

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