Four leading land-based colleges officially merged on 1 October 2012.
They form a pioneering academic and consultancy organisation, strengthening Scotland’s support for sustainable agriculture, food production and land use in the UK and abroad.
Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges and SAC have combined more than a century of
experience in research, education and rural business consultancy to establish
Scotland’s Rural College – ‘SRUC’. The new organisation is unique in Scotland
and the largest of its kind in Europe.
is undertaking world class research with reach in more than 50 countries,
training and educating over 8,000 Further and Higher education students across
its six campuses and providing expert rural business consultancy for more than
cornerstone is the interaction between these three ‘knowledge exchange’ strands
of research, education and consultancy. Ensuring each service works with and informs the others is seen as the
key to bringing maximum benefits to those with a stake in the rural sector -
whether learners, businesses, communities or policy-makers.
aim is growth, maximising SRUC’s impact, influence and global links. An
immediate priority is to work towards becoming Scotland’s first Rural
University College with degree awarding powers, hopefully in 2014.
is at the leading edge of a new educational model for Scotland in amalgamating
Further and Higher education. Through high quality and relevant courses
combined with excellence in teaching and support, SRUC’s students will enjoy
enhanced opportunities to progress in their studies from access level right up
to PhD. SRUC’s academic activities align with national policy aimed at delivering
the best outcomes for learners; developing a world-class research capability;
and maximising the contribution to sustainable economic growth for Scotland.
Chairman, Lord Jamie Lindsay believes the time is right for SRUC to be
established because the need for the rural and land-based research, education
and consulting has never been more important.
the lifetime of today’s SRUC students, world food production must almost double
to feed the growing population. This must be done on less land with diminishing
resources, while protecting the environment and addressing the challenges posed
by climate change. In addition, the growing need for innovation in the rural
industries and increasing diversity in food production means ever more complex
jobs requiring appropriately skilled and qualified people. Here in Scotland, we
need to continue to
raise the competitiveness of the agri-food industry, which is currently worth
over £12 billion a year.”
these many and complex challenges calls for skilled,
adaptable and resourceful people. Through its integrated, diverse and
sector-leading academic and consultancy activities, and through its ethos of
listening closely to industry, SRUC has the knowledge, expertise and experience
to be at the forefront of training, educating and supporting rural life and
industry. SRUC has the ability to make a real and crucial difference in a
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Rural communities
have a huge part to play in Scottish life and Scotland’s successes but it’s
vital that people have access to the right skills to help their communities
flourish in a modern Scotland.
“This merger of our land-based colleges will ensure that
Scots have access to the highest quality training and research which will stand
our rural communities in good stead for generations to come.”
Education Secretary Michael Russell said:
“All of the land based colleges have a rich tradition and are known for helping
people develop the skills the rural economy needs. Today is a significant day
for the colleges, students and the wider rural community, as it marks the
launch of the united rural college.
“I believe the new college will play a key
role in ensuring young people are fully equipped to become the rural workforce
of the future. While the integrated planning and delivery can boost the way the
college works with rural businesses to deliver courses that meets their needs.
This will be a win-win for students and our economy.”