Students at Perth College UHI’s learning centres have said they are “incensed” at the decision to close the education facilities in rural Perthshire.
The criticism from students comes as college chiefs reveal they are now looking for alternative buildings to run classes from after the centres in Crieff, Blairgowrie and Kinross close forever at the end of June.
Last week The Courier revealed that tutors at the learning centres have still not been told if their classes will continue after the summer break and now students have said they have been left in the same state of limbo.
Tony Brunton, who has taken a stained glass workshop class at the Kinross centre for over two years, said the the college’s decision making was “codswallop”.
He said: “As a student I have used the learning centre in Kinross now for several years and like many of the students I am incensed at the way Perth College and UHI have gone about closing the centres in Kinross, Blairgowrie and Crieff.
“I am well aware of the warning from the Auditor General that higher education faces a significant shortfall in funding but if you are going to take steps to address such problems there is a right and a wrong way to do it and like it or not Perth College and UHI have done it in completely the wrong way.”
The student said that the college’s lack of decision making has left many learners confused.
He said: “We were supposed to have a summer class and it was going to be in Crieff and then we were told they might be doing it in Perth, but we’ve never been given any details for it.
“They’ve made a codswallop of the whole thing and to me that’s not acceptable.”
A second learning centre student, who wished to remain anonymous, said the closure of the centres would be a loss to the whole community.
They said: “We’re all shocked that the centres are closing.
“It’s a community hub and a lot of people make use of it and maybe more should have been done (to save it).
“I’ve been taking classes there for the last four years and it’s a great community asset and the centres are quite well used.”
Perth College UHI say they are currently “sourcing new locations to host their educational and leisure provision”.
Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI principal, said: “We are currently engaging with our community partners to look at how we can deliver our courses in new locations which are better suited for our learners and meet the needs of our communities.
“As soon as we identify these new locations, we hope to design our education and leisure provision and have that in place to start this September.”