Ambitious vision for recovery and success at Scotland’s colleges unveiled

December 3, 2021

The Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, today launched a bold five-year Statement of Ambition for the college sector aimed at supporting a thriving economy by creating a highly skilled workforce across the country.

The Statement of Ambition was created with input from all colleges in Scotland, setting out the conditions and commitments needed for success for students, staff, and for colleges as organisations.

The document is published at the same time a national campaign – Love Scotland’s Colleges – comes to an end after a week of celebrating the contribution of colleges to the lives of students.

Speaking during the launch at NESCol’s City Campus, Mr Hepburn said: “We fully recognise the breadth and importance of the college sector’s contribution to a skills-led recovery.

“The revised Statement of Ambition will support colleges to help grow Scotland’s economy, and make strong and positive impacts on lives, the environment, and communities.

“This week’s Love Scotland’s Colleges campaign chimes with these themes, and we see a strong college sector working collaboratively and pulling in the same direction.”

“The five-pronged Statement of Ambition spans the next five years, 2021 – 2026, and highlights the plans colleges have to support a green national recovery programme, to extend the reach of colleges within local communities, to develop work-based training, to grow regional partnerships and to provide locally-focused and targeted learning for every student.

Ken Milroy, Chair of Colleges Scotland and Chair of the NESCol Regional Board, said: “Our Statement of Ambition is both challenging and demanding. It outlines the value of Scotland’s colleges for our students, employers, communities, and the wider economy and explains how we aim to strengthen and focus our contributions.

“The pandemic created enormous tests for everyone, but Scotland’s colleges proved their resilience and ability to quickly adapt.  This Statement of Ambition shows how we will be a key factor in the education-led national recovery.

“When colleges thrive, Scotland thrives and, by providing outstanding learning opportunities for a quarter of a million students every year, we deliver the skills and training needed to meet the challenges of emerging technologies, climate change and wider environmental concerns within the post-pandemic world.

“This Statement underscores the obstacles we all face while providing a blueprint for recovery, with colleges working in partnership with businesses, communities and government to ensure students fulfil their potential by receiving the fit-for-purpose skills and learning they deserve.”

Twenty-six colleges across Scotland deliver more than 70 million hours of education and training to over 240,000 students each year.

Click here to access the Colleges Scotland Statement of Ambition.