The Educational Future
City of Glasgow College marks its tenth anniversary this year as one of the UK’s top-performing educational institutions – but far from sitting on his laurels, Principal Paul Little is assured of contributing to economic growth over the next decade and beyond.
A quiet revolution in Glasgow took place in November 2010, a year marked by earthquakes and ash clouds. The first “Super College” in Scotland was introduced, becoming a tertiary institution of the next generation.
In the center of Scotland’s largest town, this continued a powerful tradition of college offerings.
Founding principal Paul Little of City of Glasgow College says the £ 228 million state-of-the-art twin campus, which brought together four specialist colleges in nautical science, commerce, building and printing, and culinary and hospitality, was a pioneering merger that improved the tertiary landscape significantly.
Few will recognize the education sector of a decade ago today. The distinction between university and college has never been more fluid.
In the last decade, ninety percent of the growth in Scottish higher education has been by universities.
Throughout Scotland, we now have a much more vibrant college community, all more recognizable and increasingly respected by our politicians, employers and local communities.
“Our vision was for a super-sized college that operates at scale, serving both individual learners and multiple sectors of the economy, preparing a talent pipeline of technical and professional graduates annually and driving economic growth.”
That became a reality in 2015 with the First Minister’s official opening of the Riverside Campus on the banks of the Clyde, and the Royal Seal of Approval for the City Campus in the heart of Glasgow a year later.
A Fraser of Allander Institute study demonstrating its multi-billion pound contribution to the Scottish economy will also be published by the institution.
“I am even prouder of the thousands of students who gain nationally recognized qualifications from us each year and flourish in some 231 industries,” he said.
We now train almost 50 percent of the officers of the UK Merchant Navy and work with the 20 largest shipping companies.
As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, within a wide network of business partners, City of Glasgow College is one of the best performing colleges in the entire UK for technology and vocational training.
“The college improves the wellbeing of Glasgow and plays an important role in supporting people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their economic potential.”
Principal Little notes that during times of drastic change, this transition has taken dedication and agility from his staff team to keep emphasis on a common vision:
For learners, our more effective higher education curriculum portfolio and our leadership in social mobility are making a real difference. As more and more students see the importance of studying at our college, which leads directly to a career, we are now the destination of choice for so many.
Furthermore, seeing Team City colleagues help our neighborhoods and colleges respond to Covid-19 as the true civic anchors they are has been inspiring.
‘I fully support the recent call south of the border for a’ continuing education movement,” he said.
If their schooling is known as further education or higher education, our students don’t care.
“They care first and foremost about access, quality of outcomes, employability and the job opportunities available to them.”
Colleges are undoubtedly fast growing. And Principal Little remains hopeful about the future of higher education, considering the harm done by the coronavirus.
“I am very proud of my team and have no doubt that City of Glasgow College will lead the recovery over the next 10 years,” he said.
“Through further and higher education, we will accelerate social and economic revitalization and provide employers with an offer tailored to their priorities. And we will do this backed by a vibrant and positive policy climate that we have helped shape. We published the Cumberford-Little report in February of this year.
“We made a number of claims in doing so, which were subsequently accepted and supplemented by the independent U.K. Higher Education Board of the Future.