The college will bring its programme to an end during the next academic year, helping some students transfer to other institutions and providing a final year of teaching for others. Most staff will be made redundant this summer.
The move follows unsuccessful attempts to find more suitable premises for the college.
ICC’s closure reflects the difficulties faced by several Bible and theological colleges struggling to attract students in the current economic climate. Principal Richard Tiplady told Premier Christianity magazine that the grants system in Scotland was a major contributory factor, with Scottish Bible college students – who make up more than 80% of ICC’s intake – receiving only a grant of less than third of their tuition fees instead of the 100% they would receive at a university. Tiplady said this had resulted in the halving of full-time student numbers in the last three years. ‘Each year prospective students tell us they would like to study with us but can’t afford the fees, and each year we have lost students who transfer midway through their studies to a Scottish university because they can no longer afford our fees.’
ICC has been involved in lobbying the Scottish government over the anomaly.
Tiplady added that the students’ response to the announcement was amazing. ‘I was overwhelmed. The prayer room was full all afternoon; one student said, “This is helping us to face up to where our trust really lies.”’
The college was formed in 1998 through the merger of Glasgow Bible College and Northumbria Bible College.
Discussions are continuing about how its assets – including the 45,000-volume Grogan Library – can be used to further the cause of the gospel in the future.