Further Education students at Lews Castle College UHI enjoyed their end of year celebration and prizegiving today (Thursday June 14th)  and formed part of the sapphire celebration for the college which was founded in 1953.

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This ceremony gave students families and friends the chance to celebrate the success of their Further Education students.

This year marks the Sapphire Anniversary of the opening of the Lews Castle College. It was August 1953 when the first students enrolled at the College. Sir Alec Douglas Home carried out the official opening - he later went on to become Prime Minister of the UK.

When the college first opened in 1953 there was only 90 students and nine full-time teaching staff although there was still a variety of different courses. Now there is roughly 2700 students and over 100 members of staff that are employed full time. Although the College still offer many of the same types of courses as it did when it was first opened such as those relating to the Merchant Navy and construction, it has added many more courses. Now options include Gaelic, Hairdressing, Computing, Care, Art and Hospitality.   They are always trying to improve their courses to meet the changing needs of people in the community and courses related to Harris Tweed and Jewellery have recently become available.

Iain Macmillan, the principal of the Lews Castle College said: “Anniversaries are times to celebrate where you have come from and Lews Castle College has come a long way from where it started in 1953."

He continued to say: "Anniversaries - such as the college’s Sapphire Anniversary and events such as today - are also times to plan where you are going next and all of us at Lews Castle College wish you all the best with your future studies and careers.”

(This article was created by Rachel Jefferson, a pupil at The Nicolson Institute who is undergoing work experience for a week in our newsroom)