We are based in the heart of central Scotland and we welcome approx 13,500 students per academic session. We are proud that 94% of learners progress to further studies or employment upon completion of their course.
We have an estate valuing more than £128 million comprising of state-of-the-art campuses in Alloa, Falkirk and Stirling. Our dynamic provision ranges from access to degree level and includes full-time and part-time courses, evening classes, flexible and online learning, Modern Apprenticeships, vocational qualifications and business training courses. We work closely with a wide range of partners to ensure we are delivering opportunities which meet the needs of learners, employers, local industry and national skill agendas.
Since 2013, our mission has been “Making Learning Work” and this ethos is firmly embedded in the culture of the College. The College’s whole system approach has gone from strength to strength, delivering education and training which has resulted in a range of positive outcomes for students, staff and partners as well as a skilled workforce for the future.
During this time, the College has won many national awards including the Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Innovation in Further Education in 2014 at a national ceremony held at Westminster. Since then, we have become multi-award winners for best practice in several areas from institutions such as the Times Education Supplement (TES), the College Development Network, the Scottish Training Federation, ECITB, Skills Development Scotland, and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. One of our most recent accolades was as a finalist in the International Green Gown Awards for Sustainable Institution of the Year. Our Falkirk Campus was recently a finalist for the prestigious UK wide Stirling Prize and we are in the running for the Andrew Doolan Prize for the Best Building in Scotland.
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Our purpose is to provide the “right learning, in the right place, at the right time, for our communities and the economy of Forth Valley”.
Therefore, our curriculum has a regional focus. Each of our campuses specialise in courses and training specific to key employment markets in that area. So in Falkirk – to dovetail with the oil, gas and petrochemical industries based at the Grangemouth refinery – science and engineering is the main focus. In Stirling, the emphasis is on hospitality, tourism, and creative industries. We have a business hub within the Alloa Campus delivering widely recognised professional qualifications from recognised bodies such as CIPD and CMI.
Our continued success would not be possible without our strong links with industry and an excellent track record of addressing the needs of local and national employers to develop innovative skills programmes.
We are also one of the largest MA training providers in Scotland’s college sector and have grown our provision by 44% in recent years. We train more than 1000 MAs each year in: Business and Administration; Construction; Engineering; Hairdressing; Health and Social Care; Hospitality; Life Science; and Management.
Our employer collaborations are also complemented with successful partnership working with schools, universities and the third sector.
All of these collaborations and partnerships have helped make Forth Valley College more agile, flexible, employer aware and focussed. They allow us to be outward facing to enhance our networks and enable us to be responsive to business needs.
Engagement with industry has also allowed the College to be front and centre in investment initiatives and economic growth funding bids such as: City Deals, Skills Investment Plans (SIPS) and the Falkirk Investment Zone (FIZ). The College is currently leading a multi-million pound innovation and skills project as part of the Grangemouth Growth Deal.
Building on this success and delivering our strategic vision
As the College emerges from the most difficult period that we have ever faced, we need to look to the future and seek new opportunities.
In a post-COVID world, and now also faced with the current cost of living crisis, there will be significant economic pressures, despite the fact that Forth Valley College has a reputation as a resilient organisation. The College will require a strong leader to ensure that the organisation can continue to meet the needs of our students and partners during these turbulent times.
Moving forward, the College will require a diverse curriculum offer; will need to find ways of securing income from alternative sources; and will have a strong focus on maintaining our reputation as one of the best Colleges in the UK.