David Stewart MSP

MSP calls for Full University Status for UHI

david080620071.jpgHighlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP David Stewart has questioned Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education during a Ministerial statement this afternoon on higher education.Mr Stewart’s question focussed on equality of opportunity. He has also called for full university status for the UHI Millennium Institute. Speaking later Mr Stewart said, “I asked the Cabinet Secretary is she shared my view that equality of opportunity is a key principle in the development of higher education and what action will she propose to redress the unequal geographic distribution of universities in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and Islands.

“In responding she agreed to meet with me to discuss the future of higher education in our region.

“I consider this issue to be vital for the Highlands and Islands, which is geographically distant from the existing main universities.

“Historically our young people have gone south to universities and other higher learning institutions and all too frequently gone to make their way in life outwith our region.

“The UHI Millennium Institute has an essential role to play in higher education in the Highlands and Islands and determined efforts should be made to grant it full university status as soon as practicable.

“At present there is an obvious unequal distribution of universities in Scotland, which militates against the Highlands and Islands.

“A thriving university in the north would bring huge benefits to the local economy and region.

“Firstly, our youngsters would be more likely to remain in the region, other students from all over Scotland, the UK and further afield would be attracted to the north and research capabilities would be enhanced at the UHI. ”

Mr Stewart added, “Granting full university status to the UHI would bring immediate and long-term benefit to the economy of the Highlands and Islands and I will continue to lobby the Scottish Executive to work to remove the final obstacles to achieving this.

“I look forward to meeting with the Cabinet Secretary and working to address the inequality of opportunity which presently exists for students from the Highlands and Islands.”

13 June 2007

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Written by davidstewart

July 31, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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