Perth parliamentarians welcome UHI Perth’s U-turn on nursery closure
Pete Wishart MP, Jim Fairlie MSP and John Swinney MSP have welcomed the University of Highland and Islands (UHI) Perth campus’ announcement that they will not be proceeding with plans to close the onsite nursery. The U-turn comes several days after UHI Perth made the shock announcement of their plans to close the nursery and cut up to 50 jobs, as well as to axe several courses, citing a £3million funding black hole.
Commenting, Mr Wishart said:
“I am delighted by UHI Perth’s announcement that they will be keeping the nursery open. My office has been inundated with constituents who were rightly appalled by this proposal, telling me of the profoundly positive experiences they have had with the facility. These testimonies were reinforced when I visited the nursery last Friday and heard from teachers, parents and union representatives about all that the facility has to offer.
“It is evidently a lifeline for students with young children who, in many cases, may not be able to complete their studies without it. The proposal to close it in spite of its obvious and far-reaching benefits was absurd, so I am thrilled to hear that this is no longer on the table.
“Going forward, I will continue to encourage management to engage constructively with staff and students throughout the consultation period to ensure that their voices are heard and their opinions properly considered.”
Also commenting, Mr Fairlie said:
“I had extremely grave concerns about the prospect of UHI closing the nursery, so I am very pleased to hear they have reconsidered. The impact it would have undoubtably had on the ability for young parents to take up courses at UHI Perth should not be understated. Personally, I know that my wife would likely not have been in a position to take up an accountancy course at UHI were the nursery facilities not available and I am sure that many others would be been in the same position.
“I am keen to find out from senior management about what their revised plans look like, but I am continuing dialogue with them, student representatives and the unions.”
Also commenting, Mr Swinney said:
"I welcome this decision to keep Perth UHI's nursery open. The nursery provides an invaluable service to so many students at Perth UHI. I have been contacted by dozens of constituents who are either using this facility or have done so in the past, and it was made clear to me that an on-site nursery was often the key factor in allowing them to pursue further education at Perth UHI.
"Accordingly, I was keen to emphasise the importance of the nursery during my meeting with senior stakeholders at the college. I am pleased that they have taken onboard my views and the views of service users and staff regarding this vital service.
"To that end, I will continue to work with staff and students to offer any support I can and put forward any concerns they may have to Perth UHI management."
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