Heather Dunk OBE Principal of Ayrshire College Tuesday 2nd February
Staggering statistics started the stimulating story from Ayrshire College Principal Heather Dunk OBE, at Ayr Rotary’s Tuesday evening meeting. With over 14,000 students covering three campuses in Ayr, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning. having been formed as a result of the merger between Ayr College, Kilmarnock College and James Watt College (North Ayrshire), Heather confirmed that turn over is a substantial £45M.
She stated the Ayr College’s aim is to serve the people, communities and employers in Ayrshire and plays a key role in helping to develop the economy in Ayrshire, by ensuring that students develop the right skills and positive attitudes to support the local, regional and national workforce needs. Working in partnership with employers and other stakeholders to ensure they are focused on providing opportunities which meet demand in key industry sectors in Ayrshire and beyond and develop the high quality skills required for the economy.
Recently, Heather confirmed, Ayrshire College was unexpectedly awarded a special ‘Judges Award’ at the Herald Society Awards, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. They were stunned to be presented with the final award of the night – the ‘Judges Award 2015’ – which paid tribute to the amazing work Ayrshire College staff and students carried out in 2014/15.
Especially proud of the HIVE initiative (Hope, Inspiration and Vision in Education), Heather spoke of these programmes which aim to develop essential skills, motivation and self-confidence in disadvantaged youngsters. Students from HIVE have been on various outings recently demonstrating that there is much more to these courses than classroom based learning.
Using many statistical slides to clarify details including the demographic profile of students, Heather’s interested audience were also shown the successes and challenges which the College experienced over the preceding years and in particular, looking to the immediate future, the soon to be opened, brand new impressive £54M Kilmarnock College for which she fought long and hard to secure funding in conjunction with other agencies. Retired Principal of Langside College and long standing Ayr Rotarian, Alistair Tyre, delivered the vote of thanks.