Students protest over college merger plans

Banff and Buchan College Students’ Association has launched a campaign to convince the college’s board to reject a potential merger with Aberdeen College.

Students and community members were asked to sign a petition opposing the merger (http://goo.gl/SmkZW) ahead of the board’s meeting yesterday.

Banff and Buchan students are asking the board to vote in favour of maintaining its distinct identity, believing that a merger with the larger Aberdeen College will result in the rural culture of Banff and Buchan College being lost.

Students are also concerned that a merger with Aberdeen could result in courses being moved to the city, and that travel provisions, which is vital for many students to attend courses at the college, would be slashed.

Ahead of the meeting, Lynn McGarthland, president of Banff and Buchan Students’ Association, said: 
“We are asking students and the wider community in the northeast to support Banff and Buchan students and staff and to sign our petition, which calls on the college’s board to reject a merger with Aberdeen College.

“To legitimately benefit students at Banff and Buchan, a merger must have the consent of those who will be affected most: the students. However, we know that an overwhelming majority are opposed to merging with Aberdeen College. Instead, we would like to see our college work with Aberdeen College under a regional board, which would allow Banff and Buchan to retain the rural culture and identity that makes our college such a special place to learn.

“We urge students and community members to sign the petition, which we will present to the board ahead of their vote next week. By rejecting the option to merge and instead exploring the other options on the table, the board can show they are truly listening to the voice of their students and the wider community, and acting in the best interests of both.”