Students’ wish list

ANGUS College students this week delivered their own Christmas wish list to local MSP Nigel Don calling for the Scottish Government to safeguard college places.

They put forward their request for the parliament and government to work with college principals to ensure that places, quality, local access and support for colleges are protected during budget negotiations which are due to take place in the new year.

The visit to Mr Don’s George Street office, and that of SNP colleague Graeme Dey in Arbroath, ahead of Scottish education minister Mike Russell’s visit to the college on Tuesday was part of NUS Scotland’s Our Future, Our Fight campaign.

Gary Paterson, campaign officer for Angus College Students’ Association, said: “As college winds down ahead of the Christmas break, many students and staff are concerned whether the Scottish Government’s plan to cut college budgets by 20 per cent in the new year will mean cuts to places, student support and quality, and an end to local access.

“On the eve of the education minister’s visit, we are delivering a ‘Christmas wish list’ to our local MSPs’ offices which asks them to support the Our Future Our Fight campaign and protect colleges.”

Angus students alone have sent almost 2,000 e-mails to MSPs asking them to support the campaign and NUS Scotland president Robin Parker said the best Christmas present students in Scotland could receive is a clear indication that the money for colleges is there.

He said: “In just the past few weeks, students, lecturers and community members from right across Scotland have sent over 40,000 e-mails to MSPs as part of the Our Future Our Fight campaign to protect students from the effects of a 20 per cent cut to college budgets.

“It’s crucial that local MSPs from all parties listen to their constituents and make every effort that they can to ensure that students get the guarantees about their education that they are looking for.”