North East Scotland College has received a £100,000 donation to help it develop a technology centre.
The contribution, which came from a local business, will be used to expand learning and training for school groups, community organisations and students – with robotics, virtual reality and 3D printing and plotting all included in the plans for the new centre at its Fraserburgh Campus.
It will also help North East Scotland College (NESCol) increase the flexibility of the space in the development, and purchase furniture and audio visual equipment.
Neil Cowie, Principal of NESCol, said: “This significant funding award will allow us to move forward at pace with exciting new plans and we are incredibly appreciative of the generous donation.
“The benefactor and the college share a passion for the Fraserburgh community and the potential of its people.
“The region faces unprecedented circumstances as the scale of the human cost and economic impact of coronavirus becomes clear.
“NESCol will be central to the response, supporting businesses and individuals through training and education, and will work closely with stakeholders and partners to deliver on behalf of all of the communities we serve.”
A spokesperson for the business, who did not want to be identified, said: “We recognise the tremendous work that the college does for the youth and others within our community seeking further education or vocational training that can provide opportunities for them in what will be very challenging times.
“We see the college as a key and integrated part of our community, with various groups making use of the excellent facilities within the Fraserburgh Campus.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Funding Council has given a cash boost of £600,000 to Aberdeen University, which will allow the institution to offer hundreds of free places on short online courses this year and in 2021.
The money has been allocated to the university as part of the SFC’s Upskilling Fund, which is provided to universities to offer fee waivers on short, flexible courses that address known skills gaps in the Scottish economy.
Professor Alan Speight, Vice Principal for Student Recruitment, welcomed the funding, saying: “The SFC Upskilling Fund is a very important contribution to tackling the skills shortage in Scotland which allowed us to give out 360 free places last year.
“We’re delighted that our funding for 2020/21 has been increased, allowing us to build on that success.
“Individuals can use these online courses to study with experts, enhance their CV and gain credits towards postgraduate qualifications. We would encourage anyone interested in applying for these free places to do so as soon as possible as it is likely they will be popular.”