STUDENTS and lecturers at Stranraer College joined a national day of protest on Tuesday to voice their concern about cuts in funding.
The Scottish Funding Council (Scottish Government) have imposed a funding cut of 20 per cent that means the loss of 37 posts - 19 in teaching and lecturing positions and 18 support staff.
Around 50 staff and students gathered outside the college at lunchtime to begin a march around the campus.
Both students and staff fear that the Stranraer Campus of Dumfries and Galloway College could go the way of the Newton Stewart Campus and close its doors altogether affecting the job prospects of hundreds of students.
Curriculum Leader and lecturer Jim Maginess said: “This is happening at a time when there is an increasing demand for student places. This will affect the number of students being able to attend college. The cuts are being made from the bottom up with no reduction in senior managers. Other colleges have made cuts in a different way - from the top down.”
Trade Unison UNISON spokesperson Shirley Sephton said: “WE are concerned of the effects of this on our members, teaching staff and students in the college.
“We believe the cuts in college provision will impact on the wider community in Dumfries and Galloway and in an area where job opportunities are limited will seriously affect the region’s economy.
Currently we are engaged in consultation with the college management and we will be offering alternatives to the approach they have proposed in achieving the budget cuts which we all face.”
Student Danielle Maddocks, 16, who is on the ‘go further’ course said: “I am here today to stop funding cuts ruining our college.
Nadine Conway, 17, Louise Johnston, 16, and Sarah Fox, 27, all hairdressing students, were all concerned that the college would be forced to close meaning they would have to travel to Ayr or Dumfries to continue their education.