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Wendy Alexander Approves University Merger Proposal for Northern College of Education
 Scottish Executive Press Release

22 June, 2001

                   Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Wendy Alexander today approved the planned merger of
                   Northern College of Education with the Universities of Aberdeen and Dundee.

                   Ms Alexander said:
                   "The integration of Northern College's two campuses with the Universities of Aberdeen and Dundee will have
                   considerable benefits for students and staff alike and will enhance the teacher training provision available in
                   Tayside and Grampian

                   "Students will benefit from access to a greater range of courses and the opportunity to participate in the wider
                   academic and social communities within the universities.

                   "The strong research ethos of the two universities will offer development possibilities to the staff, and in return
                   the universities will benefit from the College's strong links with schools and other educational bodies.

                   "By combining their resources and expertise, the merged institutions will demonstrate high levels of academic
                   quality, diversity and flexibility.

                   NOTES TO NEWS EDITORS
                   1. The College's Aberdeen and Dundee campuses are to be merged with the respective Universities.

                   2. In considering merger proposals, the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning is advised by the Scottish
                   Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). SHEFC assess the proposal against criteria established for this
                   purpose, and endorsed by the Scottish Executive. Institutions are expected to demonstrate that their proposals
                   to merge are based upon an objective and detailed assessment of the costs and benefits involved, and that
                   the decision to merge reflects a desire to enhance educational opportunities, and the teaching and learning
                   environment of students and staff. Furthermore, the proposal must contribute to the efficiency and
                   effectiveness of the Scottish higher education sector as a whole.

                   3. The technical means by which the merger will be effected is by means of an Order closing Northern College
                   and transferring its rights, assets, liabilities etc to the Universities. Before making the Order, the Minister is
                   required to consult with the governing body of the institution to be closed, and with SHEFC. These
                   consultations will take place with a view to implementing the merger later in the year.


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