Scotland’s Colleges: Key Enablers of Sustainable Inclusive Economic Renewal

Scotland’s colleges are key drivers of regional development, and a new national programme, supported by CDN, will explore how they can play this crucial role as successfully as possible in the face of continuing rapid economic change.

Building on a year of extensive preparatory work across the college sector Willie Mackie (Chair, Ayrshire College), Ross Martin (Chair, Forth Valley College) and Paul Smart (ex Scottish Government, Deputy Director College Policy) the programme will work intensively with several college regions to enhance their understanding of their role in supporting sustainable and inclusive regional economic renewal.

The programme team will also work alongside the leaders of these college regions to facilitate their effective engagement with Regional Economic Partnerships, highlighting and promoting their institution’s vital role in the design and delivery of Regional Economic Strategies and related Growth Deals. The team will also support the development of impact-focussed action plans for college engagement in the delivery of regional economic recovery and renewal.

Programme Director, Paul Smart said:

“We know that Scotland’s colleges are anchor institutions in their regions and that they are committed to playing a leading role in enabling inclusive economic recovery and renewal. This programme aims to work with colleges to find ways of enhancing their significant contribution to the design and delivery of regional economic strategies and growth deals.”

The programme will run through to summer 2022 and aims to give practical effect to Scottish Ministers’ intention, as emphasised in their response to the Scottish Funding Council’s latest report on the future of tertiary education, that colleges should be key drivers of sustainable growth at the heart of regional economic partnerships.

CDN Chief Executive, Jim Metcalfe said:

“This programme could not be better timed as colleges further focus on their roles as enablers of social and economic renewal following the Covid-19 pandemic. CDN are pleased to support this essential piece of work and we look forward to promoting its findings as the sector’s centre for enhancement and development.”





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