Despair has turned to joy for a group of Fife College students fighting to save the second year of their studies from the chop.
For they learned on Friday that following a petition submitted to college principal Hugh Logan, plus the intervention of Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance and support of the local newspaper, the college has announced it is to overturn its original decision and reinstate the course, allowing students to complete their education as planned.
It’s a huge relief for all of us, and to say we are delighted is an understatementMegan Petrie
In a letter to students, Mr Logan blamed cuts in Scottish Funding Council funding for the decision to move the course elsewhere, admitting that the timing had not been ideal as it had come after the cut off date for student funding applications.
He added: “However, having taken on board your concerns and in light of feedback received in discussions with students, I have reviewed this decision.
“I am pleased to confirm that the college will offer HND social sciences year two at St Brycedale Campus.”
Around 40 classmates, including several single parent and mature students, feared they had wasted a year of their lives after being informed two weeks ago that the course was to be axed from the Kirkcaldy campus’ curriculum.
The only alternative students were offered was to apply for a reduced number of places in Dunfermline, an option simply unachievable for several with childcare needs, employment obligations and those already on low incomes.
Those fighting to save the course had planned a mass boycott of classes in protest, but instead were today celebrating the news of the reinstatement.
“It’s a huge relief for all of us, and to say we are delighted is an understatement,” said Megan Petrie, the 18-year-old student from Methil who had been instrumental in calling for the college to think again.
“We feared the worst and didn’t expect the college to overturn their decision.”
Mr Torrance, who had taken up the student’s plight welcomed the development.
He said: “Finally some common sense has been applied to this and I’m delighted to hear that the college has come to this rightful conclusion.
“Students have conducted themselves in an exemplenary manner throughtout this issue and will now be allowed to complete the course which is as it should be.”