Chair of further education regional board for the Highlands and Islands takes up post
Dr Michael Foxley has taken up his post as chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ new further education regional board.
The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act makes the University of the Highlands and Islands, through a further education regional board, accountable for all college and university-level education in the Highlands and Islands. This means that from 1 August 2014 the university is responsible for all education in the region after students leave school.
Dr Michael Foxley is a long-time campaigner for improved further and higher education in the West Highlands and is a former chair of Lochaber College and West Highland College UHI. A retired general practitioner, he is also a former leader of The Highland Council, a board member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and NHS Highland and a crofter.
“I am delighted to take up this important role as one of 13 regional chairs across Scotland,” said Dr Foxley. “Since being appointed as further education regional lead for the Highlands and Islands, I have been working to ensure the colleges who are partners in the University of the Highlands and Islands start to think and plan regionally. I have been working closely with the university’s vice-principal (further education), Mike Devenney, as well as the college chairs and principals to look at our existing curriculum across the region and identify any gaps in provision.
“During the next year the board will also provide a capital plan for further education, from larger works to significant maintenance, which will bid for funding from the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council. I will be making a strong case for an increase in funding for further education in the Highlands and Islands.”
Dr Foxley will join the other 12 regional board chairs to form the new Colleges Scotland Board.
Garry Coutts, chair of the university court explained the importance of the appointment: “The role of the chair of the further education regional board will be vital to ensuring all the colleges which deliver further education in the region, and which form the university partnership, work together to meet the needs of their respective communities as well as those of the wider area.
“Dr Foxley is a fitting candidate for this new post. His wide breadth of experience in further and higher education through his work with West Highland College UHI and his appreciation of the needs of communities in our region will be invaluable to our role as the regional strategic for further and higher education.”
Calum MacPherson, group business development director of Robertson Group and Dr Lisa Massie, a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh Business School, join Dr Foxley as independent members of the board.