David Stewart MSP

Fast track for University of Highlands and Islands


Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP David Stewart is pressing the SNP government for action to help the University of Highlands and Islands achieve full university status.


Mr Stewart has been supporting the University’s bid since it was confirmed as a higher education Institution in 2000.


He is set to meet Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop, at the end of this month to maintain pressure on the Government to do all it can to fast track the University’s application.


“Historically many young people left the area to study and didn’t come back – that situation is changing.


“With full university status there will be added economic benefits as the University will act as a magnet to attract young people from within the Highlands, from the UK and foreign students coming to study here,” said Mr Stewart.


“With the Life Long Learning Agenda the majority of UHI students now and in the future will be mature and not necessarily geographically mobile – without the UHI they would not have access to higher education.”


He added: “The UHI has worked hard to meet the rigorous academic criteria required and its aim has been to achieve full University status this year.


“The new Scottish Government has a role to play in ensuring this happens.”


Mr Stewart asked the Scottish Executive to look to the example of the University of Cumbria which gained University status on August 1 – as they had their achieved their title relatively quickly.


In a written response Ms Hyslop said that the UHI’s application was with the UK Universities Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and that they would apply the same standards in assessing UHI Millennium Institute as it did in assessing the University of Cumbria.


She said: “The Scottish Executive continues to support UHI Millennium Institute in its aspiration for university title and officials are working closely with UHI, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Quality assurance Agency and the Scottish Funding Council.



Written by davidstewart

September 6, 2007 at 11:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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