Bell is first to move on to higher things

25th February 2000 at 00:00
BELL COLLEGE is to become a higher education institution early next year, the first such transfer of an FE college since incorporation in 1993.

Announcing his approval, Henry McLeish, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister, said the college had set out a powerful case which had been supported by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and by those who responded to a consultation exercise. The QAA had concluded that Bell's quality systems were the equal of those in higher education institutions.

The college has been in limbo since the mid-1980s when it was one of three council-run colleges along with Napier and Glasgow colleges of technology recommended for transfer to central government control.

In the event Napier and Glasgow went on to become universities, reinforcing Bell's anomalous position. Its 3,500 students are all on advanced courses from higher national certificate to postgraduate level; a quarter of its 80 programmes are degree orpostgraduate courses.

Ken MacCallum, Bell's principal, made it clear the change of status would not turn the college into a university. Such a move has to be approved by the Privy Council in London which requires evidence of staff expertise, the extent of research work, a minimum of 4,000 students on degree courses and an appropriate range of subjects. The next step is to seek degree-awarding powers and the college retains its ultimate objective of becoming the university for Lanarkshire.

In the meantime, Dr MacCallum said the aim was "to make our own distinctive contribution to higher education with the emphasis on qualifications for work, for career and for living".

Mr McLeish said his decision would provide Lanarkshire with its first HE institution, bringing benefits to the area's economy and local communities.

Bell will now join Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh as the only other HE institution which is not a university.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now