Section 1: Introduction
1.1 The college sector was restructured in 2014 to create 13 regions, three of which are served by more than one college. In the three multi-college regions, colleges were assigned to a Regional Strategic Body ( RSB). The RSB is responsible for securing provision of fundable further and higher education in its region.
1.2 On 1 August 2014, the University of Highlands and Islands ( UHI) became the RSB for the Highlands and Islands, and those colleges in the region that were already fundable bodies listed in schedule 2 to the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005 (“the 2005 Act”) – i.e. colleges directly funded by the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (“the SFC”) – were assigned to UHI. From that date, UHI assumed all of the responsibilities of RSB for the region, other than the direct funding of assigned colleges, responsibility for which was subsequently transferred from the SFC in April 2015.
1.3 Argyll College (“the College”) is located within the Highlands and Islands region and should therefore be assigned to UHI as the RSB to ensure appropriate accountability across the region. However, as the College was not already a fundable body listed in schedule 2 to the 2005 Act, it could only be assigned to UHI if the SFC proposed or approved the assignation. Before deciding whether to propose or approve an assignation, the SFC must have regard to the desirability of ensuring the College’s compliance with the criteria set out in section 7(2) of the 2005 Act (“the fundable body criteria”), relating principally to governance and financial management / planning.
1.4 Whilst the College is currently not a fundable body funded by the SFC, it is funded through North Highland College. North Highland College contracts with the College for the provision of SFC-funded activity in the Argyll region. North Highland College is assigned to the regional strategic body University Highland and Islands ( UHI).