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Barony College in south west Scotland has scrapped tuition fees for new applicants to all its full time National Certificate courses in response to the recession. Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland normally pay 1080 pounds course fees per year for training in land based and animal care education at the specialist college.

Barony College Principal Russell Marchant said the decision to scrap fees was made as the college prepares to launch its new prospectus, highlighting the good job prospects within traditional rural industries:
“We work very closely with industry and we know that sectors like forestry, fisheries, agriculture, horticulture and engineering are crying out for young people with good skills. There has never been a more important time to equip people with the right skills to meet the needs of industry and I would urge schools and careers advisors to encourage their students to educate themselves out of economic vulnerability during this recession.”

Barony College near Dumfries specialises in vocational training for the land based and animal care industries, with subject areas including agriculture, animal care, engineering, equine studies, fisheries studies, forestry and arboriculture, horticulture and veterinary nursing. The 228 hectare campus includes dairy, beef, sheep, cereals, trout , red deer, forestry and horticulture commercial activities, which give students hands on training in real working environments.

Based in southern Scotland, Barony College is as close to Carlisle and Newcastle as to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but differences in the way college fees are funded in Scotland and the rest of the UK means that full time students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland are unlikely to secure grant funding for their course fees. Barony College is believed to be the first college in Scotland to remove course fees in this way.

Russell Marchant added:
“The decision to scrap all fees for National Certificate courses was taken for two reasons. First of all we know that course fees are a barrier to many people, particularly prospective students from the north of England, and especially for young people seeking to develop their skills and return to work on the family farm. Many families simply can’t afford up-front lump sums at the moment and since we have the resources we thought it was appropriate to stop asking for these fees for 2009/10. With bursary support, excellent childcare, accessible hardship funds, free transport across much of southern Scotland and now no course fees on any national certificate courses, we are working hard to remove any potential barriers for people who want to access learning.

“Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I want to raise awareness of the opportunities that vocational colleges offer to school leavers, especially to young people who haven’t thought about further education before. With dole queues lengthening and job opportunities for school leavers drying up, vocational, skills-led learning offers a real opportunity for young people to develop the skills that industry needs today and tomorrow.”


Photo and Interview Opportunities:

Russell Marchant and other Barony College members of staff are available for interview or photos on request. Barony College is keen to work with members of the media in raising awareness of vocational education as a route out of recession for a generation of young people. Barony College is able to arrange access to current and past students and to supply members of the media with photos, case studies and profiles on request.


Shona Warwick, Marketing Officer Barony College
Phone: 01387 860 251 or email

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