Aquaculture for all

NAFC Marine Centre & Shetland College Join Forces

Education & academia

UK - Professor David Gray, director of the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway, is to take on the management of Shetland College, Train Shetland and Adult Learning in addition to his current post.

The joint appointment was agreed at the full meeting of Shetland Islands Council last Wednesday. Both Shetland College and the NAFC Marine Centre are part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, formally established earlier this month on the foundations of the former UHI Millennium Institute.

Andrew Hughson, Chair of Shetland College Board of Management, said the appointment was an imaginative deployment of world-class academic resources: “Professor Gray is a dynamic and hugely effective figure of international reputation, and his availability here in the isles to take on the challenges presented at Shetland College and Train Shetland is an enormous boon to the community, staff and students. His background covers all aspects of academic leadership and he is uniquely placed to take on this challenging job and continue to build on the solid foundations set by his predecessor George Smith.”

The joint appointment will be for a period of at least three years, with a formal review after the first 12 months. It follows the retirement of George Smith, Director of Shetland College.

Professor Gray said: “I very much welcome the opportunity to take on responsibility for Shetland College, Train Shetland and Adult Learning and I believe, as joint members of the University of the Highlands and Islands, this offers a tremendous opportunity to integrate Shetland’s further education facilities in what will be a unified, cost effective, world class provision of education and training across a wide range of disciplines.”

Hazel Sutherland, Shetland Islands council’s Executive Director of education and social care services, welcomed the move.

She said: “This is not only a very imaginative use of the internationally acknowledged talents and resources we possess in Shetland, but will make further education in the isles integrated and extremely cost effective. Professor Gray’s achievement in his short time at the NAFC Marine Centre promises great things for the future of further education in Shetland and I am really pleased to welcome him to the team.

“This joint management arrangement is unusual and will be challenging. It does however represent a unique opportunity to try to do things differently, in response to the tightening financial climate that we all face.

"There is a real opportunity to develop the learning opportunities betweens schools and colleges, for school pupils and for adult learners. This is an area where David has significant expertise and practical experience of sharing resources across schools, colleges and other learning settings. David has a challenging work programme ahead of him."

It has been agreed that Prof Gray will focus on the following key issues:

  • Preparing for the HMIE inspection of Shetland College in 2011
  • Developing relationships with UHI and the Funding Council
  • Progressing the Shetland College Phase 3 capital project
  • Preparing options for balancing the books in 2011/12”
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