West Lothian College

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West Lothian College
Motto Your tomorrow, brought today.
Type College of Further Education
Established 1965 (relocated 2001)
Principal Mhairi Harrington
Students 8,000 (2011 est.)
Location Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland
Campus Livingston, West Lothian
Colours Green, blue and red semi-arches
Website http://www.west-lothian.ac.uk/

West Lothian College is a further education institution in West Lothian, Scotland. It has been located in Livingston since July 2001, with its previous campus located in Bathgate from 1965 until 1999. The new campus was located just adjacent to Livingston's former MacArthur Glen centre, now simple known as 'Livingston Designer Outlet' at a cost of approximately £10 million.

The college had announced ambitious plans to raise its 2006 enrollment level of 6000 students to nearly 10,000 students by 2010/11, but this was interrupted by council funding cuts, and so places have been scaled back to approximately 8,000 in the 2011/2012 year, a decrease of almost 1,000 places from the 2010/2011 year. It was previously announced in old plans that the number of placements had to be "wracked up" to meet the new demand for courses, in response to the economic downturn, affecting otherwise employed people in the area; however, now monetary obligations, with the West Lothian Council's budget being decreased by 12% in the 2011/12 financial year alone, have taken clear priority. The Principal of the college is Mhairi Laughlin.

West Lothian College is an incorporated College of Further Education, offering vocational and non-vocational courses to school leavers from S4 - S6, adults, and through an external partnership, S1 - S3 secondary students as well. It is situated in the Central Belt of Scotland, approximately midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The College delivers SQA accredited qualifications from Access 2, Access 3 and Intermediate 1 for Adult returners and special needs learners, to NQ Intermediate 2, Higher and HNC/D Level, in Computing, Engineering, Care, Art and Design, Business Management, and the Social Sciences, amongst others. Plans are being rolled out, in partnership with Napier University and University of Edinburgh, to confer BAs through part-time courses to students wishing to further their education also, the first being awarded in the subject of Business Administration.


The principal subjects supported by West Lothian college are –

  • Healthcare and Care
  • Social Science
  • Computing
  • Electronics
  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Business Management
  • Creative Industries - Art, Design
  • Image and Beauty – Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing
  • Sport and Fitness
  • Core Skills – Communication, Numeracy, ICT
  • Assisted Learning
  • Construction
  • Motor Vehicle Maintenance

In recognition of the many social barriers that restrict individuals from accessing education and training, West Lothian College has developed a number of initiatives that promote wider access to vocational training.

The College works in partnership with a number of statutory and voluntary organisations. In relation to young, unemployed people, they are currently engaged with West Lothian Council, Employment Services, Scottish Enterprise and West Lothian Youth Forum, in developing training and education programmes for socially excluded young people. Programmes include New Deal, a national training programme run by Jobcentre Plus, Modern Apprenticeships and Get Ready For Work for Skills Development Scotland, Step Up (full-time training for school leavers with no qualifications) with West Lothian Council, and the promotion of community learning centres, also with West Lothian Council.

Schools Partnership[edit]

The Schools College partnership is an initiative by West Lothian College to introduce a taste of 'adult education lifestyle' to student yet to have left S4 - S6, starting from S3 (typically when students of all Schools have started their Standard-grade or Intermediate subjects.) Course levels typically range from NQ Intermediates to NQ Higher with additional Units typically only taken at Further Education institutions in Scotland. It is promoted as a great addition to the development of one's education by the College.

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