Plan to improve college attainment levels

New Hub to cut college dropout rate.

Measures to cut the number of college students failing to complete their courses are be rolled out nationwide.

A new College Quality Improvement Hub will focus on reducing the full-time further education withdrawal rate.

This follows a successful two-year pilot that saw an increase in student completions and identified some of the reasons why students decide to leave early – including complex personal issues, funding, or not initially choosing the right course.

The Hub will also enhance professional development opportunities for school and college staff, improve collaboration among colleges, and provide access to practical tools and information from other successful projects.

Speaking at the College Development Network (CDN) conference in Glasgow, Further Education Minister Richard Lochhead said:

“I want to substantially reduce the current dropout rate in colleges so that more Scottish college students not just enrol, but stay the course.

“Although significant attainment challenges still persist, the pilot showed that targeting specific courses and cohorts with concerted efforts to ensure they stay does make a difference. In the wake of the pilot’s success, I have now tasked CDN to establish this new Hub to offer a tailored service to help the college sector cut the number of those leaving early, improve attainment levels and raise overall performance.

“This represents a new partnership approach to quality improvement in Scotland’s colleges. Ultimately the aim is to ensure more students emerge with a college qualification that will help them fulfil their potential.”


Scottish Funding Council data showed 13,443 withdrawals (27%) from full-time, further education study at colleges in 2016-17.

The College Development Network promotes best practice across Scotland 26-strong college network by providing a platform to share and discuss college expertise and learning.

‘How good is our college?’ is an ongoing quality framework for colleges, which allows institutions to evaluate the quality of learning, teaching, and leadership. The framework integrates the assurances sought by Education Scotland, with the performance ambitions of the Scottish Funding Council’s Regional Outcome Agreements.


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