Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alleged merger of Dundee and Abertay University causes concerns as SNP Minister Shona Robison seeks meeting regarding rumours in city

Dear All

Higher education is a problem, an ongoing problem that I have blogged on with the correct solution to fix it.

It is a question of empire building that has run out of control.

To fix the problem of higher education, again, we have to slim down universities, expand the college sector and introduce community colleges.

That is the way to get high volume students through the system coupled with high quality education.

It’s about having vision.

The Labour Party has accused the SNP Government of having a secret plan for closing colleges and universities.

Whether that is true we will have to wait and see after tomorrow’s budget statement.

It is said that there could be an enforced merger involving Dundee and Abertay Universities.

This doesn’t appear to be proving popular with two SNP members for the city; Health Minister Shona Robison and Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick.

Ms. Robison has demanded a meeting with education secretary Michael Russell on the issue.

If it goes ahead, I would expect Ms. Robison and Mr. Fitzpatrick to be SNP team players and remain silent, if that turns out to be the case.

They have signed SNP group standing orders to that effect.

Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick said:

“We have seen the rumours, so as local members we want to make sure that whatever happens, it is in the best interests of both institutions.”

Ken Macintosh, the Labour Party’s education spokesman, said:

“Michael Russell is talking about mapping provision across sectors, but is he going to share the map he has in his mind? If so, is he going to consult with the universities?”

The budget statement by SNP finance secretary John Swinney will probably not provide many surprises.

However, the lack of money and inability to generate liquidity is a major problem in the public sector.

Both Abertay and Dundee insist no merger is under consideration, things change in politics so quickly, positions that people once held sometimes become untenable that circumstance forces them to revaluate their positions.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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