Consultations begin at UHI Perth in face of funding cuts
Dr Margaret Cook, UHI Perth Principal and Chief Executive explains:
At UHI Perth, in common with the college sector as a whole, we are facing serious challenges with real term funding cuts. Alongside teaching funding reductions and the cost-of-living crisis, we will have to absorb additional costs, leaving us with a budget deficit of £3m for the coming year.
The changes being considered are to ensure the long-term sustainability of UHI Perth, while aiming to minimise the impact of the Scottish Government cuts on our students. After the challenges, pressures, sacrifices and response from our staff over the last few years, this is not what the Board of Management or the senior team want to do, but we are forced to meet these challenges head on.
We are considering potential redundancies, staff restructures and evaluating our commercial activity. We are consulting with our Trade Unions and welcoming input from across the college, holding daily face-to-face meetings for staff and students and encouraging feedback.
The Higher Education curriculum delivery will not be impacted by this proposal and all HE courses (HNC/HND/ Degree and Post Graduate) will be proceeding as planned in 2023/24, as will the Schools/College partnership programmes. Where Further Education courses are likely to be impacted by any changes, we have communicated that to individuals directly and are supporting each learner as best as we can. All FE students who have started a two-year programme can complete their qualification at UHI Perth.
I have met with our local politicians (Mr Swinney and Mr Fairley) to discuss the position as a college as a result of cuts in Scottish Government funding, this is having an impact on all Scottish colleges. I’ve outlined the consequences to the college from decisions that have been made at government level. We have also made a similar offer to meet to all other local politicians.
We are welcoming input from across the college. Students and staff are being supported in a variety of ways with daily Senior Management Team and HISA drop-in sessions. Personal Academic Tutors, Student Services and HISA are all also meeting with students who have concerns.
Anyone who would like to comment or ask questions are welcome to email us on email@example.com or contact us through the options listed below.
For those with concerns specifically regarding a course, please do not hesitate to contact your curriculum directorate on the following emails:
• firstname.lastname@example.org (Beauty Therapy and Wellbeing, Hairdressing, Early Years, Health and Social Care, Humanities and Social Sciences, New Opportunities, Social and Vocational Studies)
• email@example.com (Business and Accounting, Computing, Management, Sport and Fitness, Food Studies and Hospitality)
• firstname.lastname@example.org (Creative Industries, Music and Music Business, Audio Engineering and Theatre Arts, Language School.)
• email@example.com (Aircraft Engineering, Air Service Training (AST), Motor Vehicle, Built Environment, Mechanical and Electrical Systems (Engineering), Science Technology)
The Senior Management Team will be available from 2 – 3pm every afternoon in Webster for students and staff to come and discuss this issue. In addition, HISA are offering drop-ins from 9am – 12pm each morning in Webster for students to share any concerns that they may have.
We recognise that this may cause some anxiety at this time and if this is having an impact on your mental wellbeing, then please do reach out and speak to us, you can contact our Student Services Team on firstname.lastname@example.org
As this is an ongoing process, please be reassured that we will endeavour to keep our staff, students and stakeholders informed of any future developments.