Merger of colleges taking place this Friday

North Glasgow College principal Ronnie Knox
North Glasgow College principal Ronnie Knox

It’s the end of an era for North Glasgow College and its principal as it merges with two other colleges this week in an education shake-up.

North Glasgow, John Wheatley and Stow colleges will come together to form one institution and will be called Glasgow Kelvin College from Friday, November 1.

It’s named after the revolutionary scientist, Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, and was suggested by North Glasgow College principal Ronnie Knox, who is stepping down after 38 years at the college.

The merger is part of a several taking place throughout Scotland as part of a shake-up of further education establishments.

Colleges are being placed in 13 regions with the number of colleges in Glasgow dropping from 10 to three.

North Glasgow College has lost 71 members of staff through voluntary severance.

Ronnie Knox has been the principal for 11 years, but his time at the college actually started when he was a student.

He said: “It’s the end of an era for North Glasgow College. I’ll definitely miss it, but it’s the right time for me to go.

“I wish them well and hope that, from the point of view of the students, they won’t see much of a difference.

“The difference will be within the infrastructure of the management.

“I’m going to take a month or two to find my feet. I’ve no plans at the moment, but I’ll find something.

“I’ll miss the camaraderie with staff and will miss the students. I’ve been here a long time.”

It was while a student at Springburn College of Engineering and as an apprentice as a motor vehicle technician that Ronnie was inspired to go into teaching.

He became a lecturer at the college in 1974, progressing to senior lecturer and head of learning resources.

Ronnie later took up the posts as assistant and acting principal before taking over the reins as principal in 2002.

He was at the forefront of creating a new £43million North Glasgow College building, which opened across the road from its previous premises in Flemington Street in 2008.

Ronnie leaves knowing the college is in a successful position. He said: “The main achievements have been the year on year improvements, the inspectorate reports and the new build.

“Thousands of kids and individuals have qualified and went on to bigger and better things. We now also run three degree courses.”

The merged colleges will still have their own buildings and courses will continue to run as normal. Alan Sherry (currently principal of John Wheatley College) will be principal of the new establishment.

Springburn College of Engineering opened in 1964 and became Springburn College in 1986. It merged with Barmulloch College to become North Glasgow College in 1992.

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