Learndirect Scotland Teams Up With Gaelic College To Boost Learning

Scotland's learning flagship, The Scottish University for Industry is teaming up with the Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye to promote learning through the Gaelic language.

The project, in its early stages, will see SUfI developing promotional ideas for Gaelic through its learndirect scotland brand.

The unique partnership between SUfI and Sabhal Mor Ostaig was the outcome of a visit to Skye recently by SUfI chief executive, Frank Pignatelli.

Frank met with College Director of Development Donnie Munro to discuss the expansion of learning opportunities throughout the Gaelic community.

Frank said: "Organisations like learndirect scotland encourage the use of on-line learning to help destroy peripherality. With this sort of technology, location is no longer a major issue for colleges like Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. It opens up many more opportunities for learners. Sabhal Mor Ostaig is establishing itself as a centre of excellence for learning in the Gaelic medium. The college is now looking to extend interest in Gaelic much further afield and I hope that SUfI can help do this, through its learndirect scotland services. A recent survey showed that over a million people in Scotland expressed an interest in finding out more about Gaelic. We must tap into this market to promote the language. This is not only important in a language sense but also for tourism and cultural reasons.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Director of Development, Donnie Munro said, "It is vital that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig continues to seek inventive methods of extending learning opportunities for all, and as a recognised national centre to engage in partnership working where ever possible. We look forward to working closely with SUfI in seeking to widen access to the Gaelic language and Gaelic culture. For example, we are looking at developing new hospitality Gaelic training for the tourist industry and new, bite-sized introductory courses on Gaelic and Gaelic culture, which can be made available through college partners, thelearndirect scotland national learning centre network or on-line, in people's homes, around the world. We are also exploring joint promotional opportunities, including seeking to capitalise on the European Year of Languages, as well as targeting the substantial Gaelic speaking communities outwith the Highlands & Islands - particularly in West Central Scotland."