EDUCATION secretary Mike Russell is to visit Angus College next month to discuss the future of further education.
The minister was invited to visit the college by local Angus South MSP Graeme Dey.
His visit will come off the back of news that the college could be looking at yet another cut to its budget and it is feared 400 full-time places could be lost if funding is hit.
And just last week students and staff at the college held a demonstration organised by the National Union of Students to show how many college places could be lost through budget cuts.
But Mr Dey said although there could be challenging times ahead for the further education sector, Mr Russell was keen to meet with college staff and students.
He added: “Given the breadth of his brief, and the importance that the Scottish Government places on educating our young people, Mike Russell’s diary is packed to say the least.
“But when I asked him some weeks ago if he would come to Arbroath to see the fine work done at Angus College and meet with management and staff there his response was extremely positive and we have managed now to confirm a visit on December 20.
“That visit will involve not only meeting with principal John Burt and other senior management, but also a get-together with representatives of the lecturing staff because Mike is keen to hear their views on the future of further education and answer any questions they might have.
“These are challenging times for the further education sector with a reduced budget settlement and it is important that we all work together to ensure Angus College emerges from that and the coming reform of further education as strongly as it can.”