17 February 2017
Shetland’s Colleges are top of the class
Shetland College UHI is especially delighted that it achieved the highest percentage in Scotland (81.6%) of full-time further education students who completed their courses successfully in 2015-16. This compares with the national success rate of 65.5%.
The Shetland College UHI further education statistics include students from the NAFC Marine Centre and this arises from a collaborative agreement entered into by the two organisations during the 2015-16 session.
The 81.6% success rate of full-time Shetland students in 2015-16 was 7% higher than in session 2014-15 (74.6%) and, in part, this significant improvement came about because of a sizable reduction in the number of full-time students who withdrew from their courses.
Looking beyond this key performance indicator, the College recognises that the other statistics provided point to the need for particular consideration to be given to the following, all of which have pass rates which compare unfavourably with the Scottish further education sector as a whole:
- Part-time students (although these are markedly improved on session 2014-15)
- Students under 18 years of age on courses lasting 160 hours or more
- Female students on courses lasting 160 hours or more
The final performance indicator published by the Scottish Funding Council relates to the amount of student activity that colleges were funded for in 2015-16 and the extent to which colleges exceeded or missed their activity targets.
The 12.0% above target figure shown for Shetland College UHI is the highest in the Scottish further education sector.
This indicates that the closer working relationship forged between Shetland College UHI and the NAFC Marine Centre during 2015-16 has revealed a significant need in Shetland for more further education to be provided, and funded, in order to meet the demand that already exists.
Peter Campbell, Chair of Shetland College Board: “I’m very encouraged that we’re leading the national table in terms of completion of courses and that it is a reflection on the work that is put in by both staff and students”.
David Sandison, Chair of NAFC Board: “This bodes well for the future of the sector in Shetland where we are clearly meeting and exceeding targets. We are delivering what the Shetland community is looking for and what the economy needs”.
Willie Shannon, the Colleges Principal: “Exceeding activity targets and having the highest completion rate for courses is a confidence-booster for everyone involved in the sector in Shetland. The challenge is to make sure that the money follows the activity. For that we need extra money coming in to Shetland so that we can continue to meet demand and deliver for the community”.