SRUC’s campuses will be holding a number of virtual open days this month highlighting a range of courses, including Greenkeeping and Golf Course Management,
The new academic year at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will begin on 28 September with a combination of face-to-face and online teaching.
The announcement comes as Scotland enters the first phase of its easing of lockdown restrictions.
Applications are open for courses at its six campuses across Scotland: Ayr, Barony (near Dumfries), Craibstone (Aberdeen), Edinburgh, Elmwood (near St Andrews in Fife) and Oatridge (West Lothian), while current students have been given details of when they can expect to return to their studies.
To allow high-quality, socially distanced, on-campus delivery of vital practical elements in courses such as agriculture, engineering, horticulture, vet nursing and animal care, seminars and lectures will – as far as possible – take place online during the first semester.
Coupled with small class sizes, the new arrangements will give SRUC greater ability to adapt to changes in social distancing guidance and ensure the best possible experience for students should restrictions come back into effect in the future.
Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “Like everything else, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the education sector and – over the past two months – students and staff at SRUC have had to adapt to new ways of learning and new ways of teaching.
“Prior to lockdown, SRUC had seen an increase in the number of applications for next year. We want to reassure potential and new students that we will provide an outstanding, high-quality experience while studying at SRUC.
“Fortunately, we were already looking to the future by introducing more blended (online and face-to-face) ways of teaching and learning. Under this new approach, students are equal partners in SRUC, and we will empower our students to have more choice in how they learn.
“With lockdown measures being gradually eased, now is the perfect time to look ahead and we are excited and working hard to ensure that our students continue to enjoy high-quality, purposeful learning in 2020-21.
“We are delighted to welcome students on to exciting courses that are designed to support the sustainability of our natural economy and preparing our graduates with new knowledge and skills in areas such as digital technology and new approaches to precision agriculture.”
SRUC’s campuses will be holding a number of virtual open days this month highlighting a range of courses, including Greenkeeping and Golf Course Management, Horticulture, and Environment and Conservation, through online presentations and videos.
To find out more or to book your place, visit: www.sruc.ac.uk/opendays
Meanwhile golfers have swung into action at Elmwood Golf Course in Fife after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted to allow players back on to the fairway.
Nearly 100 golfers took advantage of the beautiful weather on each day over the weekend to play at the 18-hole parkland golf course in Cupar, which is owned and managed by SRUC.
Changes were put in place to meet the Scottish Government’s phase one guidelines, with all players pre-booking their slot and adhering to social distancing rules.
Tee times were restricted to a maximum of two players, with a 12-minute gap between each.
Throughout lockdown, the course has been maintained by a core team – all former students from SRUC’s Elmwood campus.
Course manager Greg Kilgour said: “It was great to see the return of members to the course as restrictions were lifted. Since lockdown, the course has been used by the local community as an open area for exercise and walking dogs, and people are continuing to utilise the out-of-play areas, such as the woodland walks.
“The consideration shown to the greenkeeping team has been most welcome. The members have also been full of praise for the hard work put in by the team during lockdown and are now reaping the rewards.”