Fife students: Course axe means we’ve wasted year of our lives

Student Association President Suzie Edney, VP Lisa Kinnaird and Student Megan Pettrie are leading a campaign to reverse this decision. Pic by Steven Brown Photography.
Student Association President Suzie Edney, VP Lisa Kinnaird and Student Megan Pettrie are leading a campaign to reverse this decision. Pic by Steven Brown Photography.
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Angry students from Fife College say they have potentially wasted a year of their lives after learning the second year of their course is to be axed.

Around 40 students currently attending HNC and HND social science at St Brycedale campus in Kirkcaldy, have been told by curriculum managers that they will now have to travel to Dunfermline to complete their studies - or face looking for alternative courses.

And the class mates, which include a number of single parents and mature students, say they have been further incensed after being informed after applications for possible funding had closed.

Students now fear that with currently just one class operating from the Dunfermline college, many of the Kirkcaldy-based students willing to travel the extra distance will indeed miss out due to the course being oversubscribed.

Last week they handed a signed petition to Hugh Logan, Fife College principal, calling on him to reverse the decision, but have yet to receive a reply.

Lisa Traill, a 35-year-old single mother of three from Leven, told the Press the decision to scrap the classes would leave her with no alternative but to give up her studies.

“I’m holding down a full time job, I’ve no option but to quit because of the extra pressures of child care and travelling,” she explained.

“I’ve wasted a year of my time, I was advised to transfer on to this course from one I was already studying as it was seen as more beneficial.”

Fellow student Megan Petrie (18) from Methil said they had received conflicting reports as to why the course was being cut.

“We’ve been told it’s due to funding cuts, lack of interest and even there not being enough classrooms.

‘‘It certainly doesn’t make sense as there are two full classes of committed students,” she said.

David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP, who has taken up the students’ plight, told the Press he will call for the courses to be reinstated when he meets with Mr Logan to discuss the matter on Monday.

“Many of the students are already making significant sacrifices in order to attend. Some are on low incomes, others have childcare, family or job commitments, “ he said.

“Having taken on these students, the college has an obligation to complete their course. It’s unrealistic and unfair to put them in such a position.

“What I find particularly disappointing is that they were informed of the situation after the closing date for possible course funding of which is already essential to many of these students.

A Fife College spokesman said: “We are aware of the situation and are looking at different options. We will work closely with the students and staff concerned.”