THREE colleges have launched a formal consultation on their plans to merge and create a new institution for south and west Glasgow.

Anniesland, Cardonald and Langside colleges began merger talks earlier this year in response to the Scottish Government's reform agenda for further education. The institutions confirmed their intention to press ahead with the move last month.

It is hoped the merger will be completed by July 2013.

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The consultation will run for 12 weeks until November 16 and includes a series of staff and student events across the institutions.

The principals of the three colleges said they welcomed views on all aspects of the proposals.

Linda McTavish CBE, principal of Anniesland College, said: "We are really interested in hearing as many views as possible because it gives us all the opportunity to help develop a new college, building on the traditions and expertise of the existing colleges.

"We want to listen and respond to the needs of industry, business and the people within Glasgow."

Susan Walsh, principal of Cardonald College, added: "We want people to see the huge opportunity for the students we serve, and the contribution we can make to the city of Glasgow and beyond."

Andrew Haddon, principal of Langside College, added that he welcomed all feedback on the merger.