Abbey resumes full-time diploma habit

February 3, 1995

Newbattle Abbey College, Scotland's sole residential adult education college, whose core funding was axed by Government in 1989, will this year restore two full-time diploma courses.

Since 1989, the college has developed a wide range of short courses, and has rented residential and teaching accommodation to a number of education and training bodies including Heriot-Watt University and Lothian Region.

But it now plans to enrol up to 50 full-time students in 1995/96 for modularised diplomas in European studies and Scottish studies. Although Newbattle will not receive a recurrent grant from the Scottish Office Education Department, its students should qualify for student awards.

College principal Bill Conboy said: "Individual self-development is the main aim of Newbattle, but the standards set will be such as to enable those who successfully meet the diploma requirements to proceed to degree-level study." The diplomas have already been accepted as entrance qualifications by Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrews universities.

"The adults we accept will not usually have educational qualifications," Mr Conboy said.

"We will be more interested in those with open minds, a sense of commitment and a willingness to work. Our task will be to see that they are provided with an environment which will enable them to complete a properly structured, systematic course of adult residential education."

One full-time academic has been seconded from the Open University, while the rest of the teaching staff will be part time. Newbattle hopes to expand student numbers in 1996 through a third diploma in science and technology.

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