The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council has released more than Pounds 900,000 to Scotland's national Roman Catholic college of education following approval of a plan which involves axing 23 academic staff.
St Andrew's College, Glasgow was obliged to produce a plan to eliminate its dependence on the funding council's safety net, Pounds 904,000 this session, which is not guaranteed in future years. The governors have successfully submitted a plan which calls for academic staff to be cut from 86 to 63 by August 1998, with support staff being cut from 143 to 126.
There were fears at the end of last session that rationalisation would mean compulsory redundancies, but college principal Bart McGettrick said this week that he was confident that the job losses could be achieved voluntarily.
"I think when we were devising this plan, there were times when the staff in the college went through the emotions of anger, despair, and the realisation that this is a task that has to be undertaken," he said.
"I think there is now a sense of purpose that we have to get on with it, and I have to commend my staff for maintaining morale at a high level and accepting that we have to work with the resources that we will have in a constructive way."
But Morag O'Dea, vice president of the University Lecturers' Association of the Educational Institute of Scotland, denied that morale was high.
There were already thought to be more than enough applications for voluntary severance in the coming year, she said, and that was because anybody who could afford to leave did not wish to be associated with the educational changes.
"None of us can see a way in which the quality of education can be maintained," she said.
The three free-standing education colleges, St Andrew's, Northern College, and Moray House Institute of Education, were all safety-netted this year by SHEFC to ensure that they did not suffer a cut of more than 1 per cent in this year's funding round.
SHEFC has approved in principle St Andrew's request for extra funding over three years to help it implement its plan.