CUMBERNAULD College could be uniting with two other Lanarkshire institutes to form a Federation of Colleges.
The principals of Cumbernauld, Motherwell and South Lanarkshire colleges, as well as the boards of management, have all thrown their weight behind the move.
Hopes are high it will let the educational institutes plan regionally yet deliver locally and tackle what they see as the historic underfunding for higher education in the Lanarkshire area.
In a joint statement issued by the colleges this week a spokesperson said: “We welcome and support the move toward funding in the region defined as Lanarkshire which we hope will address the long standing historical underfunding of this area.
“This will better allow all three colleges to address the hopes and aspirations of their students.
“We also welcome the moves to plan regionally but deliver locally and we strongly support the perspective that college courses should provide students with skills that they need to get a job, keep a job or get a better job.
“All three colleges have a strong focus on student achievement and are delighted to further develop in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council a robust outcome focused model.
“In order to deliver the best possible service to the communities served by the Cumbernauld, Motherwell and South Lanarkshire colleges we are committed to exploring forming a federation of colleges to provide a structured approach to regionalisation.
“The detail which will underpin this approach will be developed by February 29 and a paper will be submitted to the Scottish Funding Council by that date.”
It is hoped that the plan will allow the colleges to collate and co-ordinate ideas as a unit but still operate autonomously.
The plan would also allow the colleges to look at ways of improving access to educational opportunities across Lanarkshire, increase the progression routes from school to college-based study and identify opportunities to work in partnership to maximise the efficiency and use of resources in Lanarkshire.
The spokesperson added: “The purpose of the Lanarkshire Colleges Regional Federation Proposal is to allow the three colleges to plan and deliver a fully-coordinated programme of further education opportunities across Lanarkshire.
“Each of the colleges has its own specialist facilities and provision, and the close working of the colleges will ensure that the impact of these is maximised.”
Cumbernauld College Principal Martin McGuire added: “All three colleges have considerable strengths and proven track records in delivering high quality teaching and learning across each of their communities.
“The concept of a federation will allow us to maximise efficiencies while improving on our existing high quality provision, benefiting the people of Lanarkshire.’