ANGUS College is keen to receive greater recognition for it’s contribution to higher education in the county and further afield.
The college has achieved some “astounding” results in it’s part-time degree courses and students have gone on to have great success on further university courses.
Angus College, and it’s sister institutions across the country, believe that they should be recognised for making significant contributions to the education sector by giving high quality courses at a relatively low cost.
In a report to the Scottish Government regarding their contributions, Angus College noted that 25 per cent of higher education students have chosen to study at a college rather than a university.
A first year college course costs around £3100 compared to the £5700 for a counterpart university course.
The report said: “Undoubtedly, Scotland’s colleges provide a value-for-money service to both taxpayers and individuals alike.
“If 1000 students undertook their first two years of higher education at their local college and then progressed seamlessly to year three of a degree, then this would save £5.18 million of tax payers’ money.
“This potential saving is also added to by the fact that delivering higher education across a 42-college national network would reduce associated travel, living and accommodation costs to individuals.”
The future of higher education has been the topic of many debates recently due to the impact of public spending cuts.
Although it has been a key part to the election campaign no decisions will be taken until after the election itself.
Angus College has already taken steps to ensure that a move from college to a third year of a university course would be smooth.
It has made agreements with six universities from across the country which will allow students to carry out the beginning of their course at college before moving on.
The college has also said that in some cases and subject areas, students who previously studied at college before going to university had achieved better results than those who did all four years at university.
In its report, the college mentioned a study of 40 of its students who undertook a Higher National Diploma in social studies before going to universities across Scotland and further afield.
None of these students dropped out of their course, 90% had a first or upper second class degree and a quarter continued to study at postgraduate level.
The report said: “Scotland could produce the same graduate outcomes, increase access opportunities, maintain quality and all at a considerable reduction in scarce public resource input.”
It has also praised the benefits of part-time courses compared to university full-time counterpart courses.
It said: “At Angus College, and in collaboration with Robert Gordon University, a part-time degree in management studies has been delivered by our academic staff across learning centres in rural Angus.
“The results, quite simply, have been astounding.
“Not only is this BA in management studies trailling degree delivery by new broadcast technology, thus cutting down formal attendance and costs to students, it is also actively seeking applications from those with a wide range of qualifications and experience, recognising both formal and informal learning.”
The course highlighted in the report had a pass rate of 94 per cent in the first group and 86 per cent in the second group.
The college has said that thanks to the flexibility, diversity and accessibility of it’s sector it would be a “major element” in the quest to find solutions for an affordable and manageable higher eduction.
Past students of Angus College have also sang the praises of it’s courses.
One said: “By gaining qualifications each year it allowed me to have the confidence to move up to university with direct entry at year three.”