University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)
Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean
UHI Coat of Arms.jpg
Typefederal, public
Established2011 – University status
1992 – UHI Millennium Institute
Budget£139m (2022)[1]
ChancellorThe Princess Royal
RectorFiona McLean
PrincipalVicki Nairn (Interim)
Total staff
3100 (2019)[2]
Students31,000 (11,201 higher education, 19,779 further education) [3]
Location
Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire
,
ColoursBlack & White
   
Websiteuhi.ac.uk
UHI Logo.png
Centre for Health Science
Centre for Health Science

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is an integrated, tertiary institution encompassing both further and higher education. It is composed of 12 colleges and research institutions spread around the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire regions of Scotland. UHI offers further education, undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes which can be studied at a range of locations across the area and online. It has 31,000 students, including 19,779 further education students and 11,210 higher education students. [4]

History

While UHI is Scotland's newest university,[5] many of its 12 colleges and research institutions have longer histories, the earliest having been founded in the 19th Century. The UHI network has had a unique structure and the way that it has evolved as a multi-campus institution has been constrained by a legislative framework that deals with further and higher education separately.[6] Technology has played an important part in connecting the partner institutions.[7]

In April 2001, it became known as the UHI Millennium Institute, following the Scottish Parliament awarding Higher Education Institute status. By 2004 full-time deans had been appointed to its three faculties, with experienced figures having been attracted from other academic bodies.[8]

University degrees were authenticated by the Open University Validation Service, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Aberdeen until 2008 when the UHI was given taught degree awarding powers (tDAP) by the Privy Council[9][10] under recommendation from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA);[11] Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma courses are awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

University status was awarded by the Privy Council in February 2011, and UHI became the University of the Highlands and Islands.[12][13]

Key dates

Organisation and administration

The Princess Royal was officially installed as chancellor in June 2012.[14]

Clive Mulholland became principal and vice-chancellor in June 2014,[15] after his appointment to this post was announced in February 2014.[16]

Professor Todd Walker became principal and vice-chancellor in 2021. [17]

Anton Edwards, a marine physicist, took over as rector in June 2014.[18]

The coat of arms has been designed to reflect important aspects of UHI. A compass rose with a fleur de lys indicating north denotes UHI's location and two open books symbolise learning. The 13 hazel leaves are to represent UHI's partners, a tree associated with wisdom in Celtic and Norse tradition.[19]

It has an annual income of £137 million.[20]

UHI is organised into two faculties, the faculty of arts, humanities and business, and the faculty of science, health and engineering.[21]

UHI Court

The Court consists of up to 20 members including graduates, academic and support personnel, university sponsor representatives and a majority of independent members. From the independent members the party elects its president and vice-chair. The Court assigns many of its academic responsibilities to the academic board.[22]

Academic Council

Academic council is the main Higher Education disciplinary authority in UHI. Any of its specific tasks are assigned to a variety of committees.[23] These committees are;[24]

Foundation

The Foundation creates a link between UHI and its communities, and serves as a mission custodian. The foundation contains a maximum of 120 members. In addition to the rector, principal and vice-chancellor, president of the student association and chair of the court, the foundation also includes members from academic partners, employees, students, industry, alumni, external organisations and individuals with organisational value-added expertise and knowledge.[25]

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business has three subject networks;[21]

In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, courses such as honours programmes in Gaelic,[26] Theological Studies,[27] and Scottish History,[28] all reflect the distinctive nature of the region, its past, present and future. The Centre for History is based in Dornoch and teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees via videoconference to students around the UHI network and worldwide.[29] The faculty also offers an interdisciplinary course in Scottish Cultural Studies,[30] which received the 2005 Times Higher Education Supplement Award for Most Imaginative Use of Distance Learning.[31] Other postgraduate masters programmes cover the culture, literature and history of the Highlands and Islands, Material Culture and Gàidhealtachd History, Orkney & Shetland Studies, and Viking Studies. The business school offers distinctive programmes such as Scotland's only degree in Golf Management,.[32] The School of Adventure Studies delivers courses in Adventure Tourism Management, Adventure Performance & Coaching, Adventure Education & Marine Coastal Tourism using Lochaber, the UK's Outdoor Capital as a living research laboratory.[33]

From August 2013 UHI have benefited from allocation of student teacher places,[34] allowing postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) to be offered, and the success of this has led to the number of places being increased.[35]

UHI Executive Office (formerly the Royal Northern Infirmary)
UHI Executive Office (formerly the Royal Northern Infirmary)

Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering

The Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering has three subject networks;[21]

The Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering has research in Renewables, Marine Science, Digital Health, Sustainable Rural Development and Environmental Issues. A fully online honours degree programme is available across the UK from this faculty. The BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development[36] is an example of a multi-disciplinary programme from this Faculty. The programme has professional accreditation from the Institute of Economic Development.[37] The Faculty also offers postgraduate studies, including an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development.[38] This Masters programme also has professional accreditation from the Institute of Economic Development.[citation needed]

The Energy and Technology subject area offers a range of academic programs up to, and including Masters level (such as MSc Developing Low Carbon Communities and MSc Sustainable Energy Solutions), together with various subjects taught at HNC/HND level.

UHI has links with the new Centre for Health Sciences located behind Raigmore Hospital. This is being funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Johnson and Johnson. UHI purchased the Centre for Health Science in Inverness from Highlands and Islands Enterprise in a £9.83m deal.[39] The building includes a research centre.[40] Phase I of this opened in early 2007, phase II and phase III were opened in 2009. The University of Stirling has moved its nursing and midwifery operations from Raigmore Hospital to the CfHS. A BSc Oral Health Science was set up in 2008, and was based on two campuses, the Centre for Health Sciences and Dumfries Dental Centre. In 2011 a third campus was added in Stornoway. In September 2016 the Nursing and Midwifery Council approved the transfer of the pre-registration nurse BSc nursing programmes in Inverness and Stornoway to be provided by UHI.[41]

In August 2015, UHI Inverness, one of the main collaborators at UHI, opened its doors at the Inverness Campus. The £50m 18,500 sqm facility offers services for further and higher education courses including Life Sciences education and research.[42]

The £6.5 million Alexander Graham Bell Centre for Digital Health is a Moray College UHI centre for excellence in digital health and Life Science for the North of Scotland and beyond, providing facilities for, and expertise in, digital health and life science research and education. The centre was officially opened by the Princess Royal in June 2014.[43] UHI received a £9 million grant from the UK Government for this project.[44]

The new life sciences innovation centre is a collaborative project between UHI and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The total size of the building is projected to be 2700m². The new innovation centre aims to promote the development of education and research. The new centre will also collaborate with the proposed Elective Care Centre also planned for Inverness Campus.[45]

Constituent institutions

College Founded Main Campus Location
UHI Argyll 1997 Dunoon, Argyll and Bute
Highland Theological College 1994 Dingwall, Highland
UHI Inverness 1960 Inverness, Highland
UHI Outer Hebrides 1953 Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
UHI Moray 1971 Elgin, Moray
UHI North Highland 1959 Thurso, Highland
Orkney College UHI 1995 Kirkwall, Orkney
Perth College UHI 1961 Perth, Perth and Kinross
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig 1973 Sleat, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides
SAMS 1884 Oban, Argyll and Bute
UHI Shetland 1970 Lerwick, Shetland
UHI West Highland 2010 Fort William, Highland

Campuses

UHI has 12 individual colleges and each college/research centre has its own campus in different locations. As colleges offer different programmes, not all courses are available at every campus. Some campuses such as SAMS have tiny student populations all learning the same sort of course, and some campuses such as Inverness College have diverse disciplines. Some UHI colleges have student accommodation on their campuses and some of them do not. Argyll College does not have a single campus; staffed learning centres are located in Oban, Lochgilphead, Helensburgh, Campbeltown, Islay, Dunoon, Rothesay and Arran. Lews Castle College campus is set in 600 acres of parkland beside the principal harbour town of Stornoway. North Highland College UHI has four campuses spread throughout the north of Scotland. There are two campuses in Caithness; main campus in Thurso and one in Wick. Moray College UHI has its main campus in the ancient cathedral town of Elgin. The Elgin campus is home to Scotland's fifth art school and the only one located in a non-urban environment. West Highland College is located in Fort William. Orkney College UHI is principally based in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands with a second campus in Stromness and learning centres based on the smaller islands. Perth College UHI is situated in the city of Perth on the southern edge of the Highlands of Scotland. The Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI (SAMS UHI) is located on Dunstaffnage bay on the west coast of Scotland, three miles from the seaside town of Oban. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI is situated close to the sea on the southern peninsula of Sleat on the Isle of Skye. Shetland College and NAFC Marine Centre mergered in August 2021 to become Shetland UHI, with college bases in Lerwick and in the historic village of Scalloway. [46]

Academic profile

UHI conducts its research through a collaboration of twelve colleges and academic institutions. These institutions are defined as academic partners which can operate as an autonomous body. Due to UHI's regional characteristic, academic partners can determine their own strategy and they are authorised to make their own investments and manage recruitment independently.[47]

Research units

UHI operates across the region through partnerships with colleges and research institutions.[48]

Institutes

Institute of Health Research and Innovation

In early 2018, UHI awarded the Institute of Health Science and Innovation an Institution status in recognition of the scale and success of the pre-existing cluster of health research. The Institute includes representatives from around the UHI collaboration, but most of them are located at the Inverness Centre for Health Science. Institute activities can be divided loosely into three major themes: Disease Management, Smarter Health, and Rural Health and Wellbeing.[49]

Environmental Research Institute (ERI)

Opened 2000, The ERI is located in the town of Thurso. The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) is part of North Highland College UHI, which is one of 12 partners in UHI. Its research is focused into three areas; Renewable Energy and Environment, Carbon Water and Climate, and Environmental Contamination and Ecological Health. The Centre for Energy and the Environment is affiliated with the ERI.[50]

Agronomy Institute

The Agronomy Institute performs work on the production and promotion of new crops and plant products in the Scotland's highlands and islands. The Institute cooperates with growers, end-users and other research organisations.[51]

Archaeology Institute

Main article: UHI Archaeology Institute

Based on the Orkney Mainland, the UHI Archaeology Institute also has research and teaching staff in both Shetland and the Western Isles. Throughout Scotland, the Institute integrates teaching, scientific research, and applied industrial research and consultancy. The institute's commercial arm, ORCA, provides Northern Scotland archaeological and conservation services-from archaeological excavations and assessments to environmental consulting services, underwater archaeological invasion.[52]

Institute for Northern Studies

Founded in 2007, Institute for Northern Studies operates at Orkney, Shetland, and Perth Colleges UHI from three main locations. Research areas are Viking Studies, Medieval and modern history and culture of the Highlands and Islands, Links between Scotland and the Nordic world, The history and culture of the Scottish islands within the North Atlantic region, Highlands and Islands Literature, Island Studies, The languages and dialects of Orkney and Shetland, and Pictish studies.[53]

Language Sciences Institute (LSI)

Language Sciences Institute seeks to revitalize minority languages. The LSI will expand on the work of the Soillse project, with a special emphasis on the traditional Gaelic speaking communities of Scotland.[54]

The Rivers and Lochs Institute

Founded in 2012, the Institute specializes in work on molecular genetics to help conserve and maintain all rivers and lochs biodiversity, including fish stocks. The researchers work with local communities, wetlands and fisheries managers, businesses and government agencies to provide scientific support for the protection, restoration and sustainable management of wetlands biodiversity.[55]

Postgraduate Research

UHI offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in the following academic areas;[56]

Academic Field Available at
Archaeology UHI Outer Hebrides, Orkney College UHI, UHI Shetland
Biomedical Sciences Centre for Health Science
Energy UHI Outer Hebrides, UHI North Highland, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Perth College UHI
Environmental science UHI North Highland, UHI Inverness
Fine Art UHI Moray
Gaelic and Related Studies Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
History Centre for History
Marine Science Scottish Association for Marine Science
Northern Studies UHI Inverness; UHI Outer Hebrides; UHI Moray; Orkney College UHI; Perth College UHI; Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; UHI Shetland
Rural Health Centre for Rural Health and Wellbeing
Sustainability Studies Centre for History, Centre for Rural Health and Wellbeing, UHI Inverness, UHI Outer Hebrides, Orkney College UHI, Perth College UHI, Scottish Association for Marine Science, UHI Shetland, UHI West Highland
Theology Highland Theological College

UHI offers Masters by Research (MRes) degrees in the following academic areas;[57]

Academic Field Available at
Algal Biotechnology, Biology and Ecology (MABBE) SAMS
Archaeology Orkney College UHI, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI Shetland
Biomedical Sciences Institute of Health Research and Innovation, Centre for Health Science, Inverness
Creative Practice UHI Shetland
Engineering UHI Inverness; UHI Outer Hebrides; UHI Moray; UHI North Highland and Perth College UHI
Environmental Science Environmental Research Institute, UHI North Highland, Thurso and the Rivers and Lochs Institute, UHI Inverness
Exercise Physiology, Training and Nutrition Institute of Health Research and Innovation, Centre for Health Science, Inverness
Forestry UHI Inverness
Freshwater Science UHI Inverness
Gaelic and Celtic Studies Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
History Centre for History UHI
Literature UHI Inverness
Northern Studies Institute for Northern Studies
Theology Highland Theological College

Undergraduate Degrees

UHI offers undergraduate degrees in the following academic areas;[58]

Accounting and Finance BA (Hons) Culture and Heritage BA (Hons) Literature BA (Hons)
Adventure Education BA (Hons) Drama and Production BA (Hons) Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)
Adventure Performance and Coaching BA (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering BEng (Hons) Marine and Coastal Tourism BA (Hons)
Adventure Tourism Management BA (Hons) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) Marine Science BSc (Hons)
Air Traffic Management BSc (Hons) Energy Engineering BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons)
Aircraft Engineering BEng (Hons) Environmental Science BSc (Hons) Nursing BSc
Aircraft Maintenance Engineering and Management BSc (Hons) Events Management BA (Hons) Oral Health Science BSc
Applied Music BA (Hons) Fine Art BA (Hons) Outdoor Education and Learning BA (Hons)
Applied Software Development BSc (Hons) Fine Art Textiles BA (Hons) Philosophy BA (Hons)
Archaeological Science BSc (Hons) Food, Nutrition and Textile Education BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA (Hons)
Archaeology BA (Hons) Forest Management BSc (Hons) Popular Music BA (Hons)
Archaeology and Environmental Studies BSc (Hons) Gaelic and Development BA (Hons) Professional Golf BA (Hons)
Architectural Technology BSc (Hons) Gaelic and Education BA (Hons) Psychology BSc (Hons)
Audio Engineering BSc (Hons) Gaelic and Media Studies BA (Hons) Scottish History BA (Hons)
Bioscience BSc (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music BA (Hons) Scottish History and Politics BA (Hons)
Business and Management BA (Hons) Gaelic Language and Culture BA (Hons) Social Sciences BA (Hons)
Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons) Gaelic Scotland BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology BA (Hons)
Childhood Practice BA (Hons) Geography BSc (Hons) Sociology and Politics BA (Hons)
Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) Golf Management BA (Hons) Sport and Fitness BSc (Hons)
Computing BSc (Hons) Health and Social Studies BA (Hons) Sports Management BA (Hons)
Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice BA (Hons) History BA (Hons) Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation BSc (Hons)
Contemporary Film Making in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons) History and Politics BA (Hons) Sustainable Development BSc (Hons)
Contemporary Textiles BA (Hons) Hospitality Management BA (Hons) Theological Studies BA (Hons)
Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons) Integrative Healthcare BSc (Hons) Visual Communication and Design BA (Hons)

HNC / HND Degrees

UHI offers HNC / HND degrees in the following academic areas;[58]

Accounting HNC / HND Computing HNC / Computer Science HND Music HNC / HND
Acting and Performance HNC Construction Management HNC Music Business BA (Hons) incorporating Music Business HNC
Administration and Information Technology HNC / HND Contemporary Art Practice HNC / HND Musical Theatre HNC / HND
Agriculture HNC Engineering Systems HNC / HND Nautical Science HNC
Aircraft Engineering HNC Events HNC Professional Cookery HNC / HND
Applied Sciences HNC Fabrication Welding and Inspection HNC Social Sciences HNC
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry HNC / HND Fashion Make-up HNC Social Services HNC
Beauty Therapy HNC / HND Fitness, Health and Exercise HNC / HND Soft Tissue Therapy HNC
Business HNC / HND Forestry HNC / HND Sound Production HNC / HND
Care and Administrative Practice HNC Gamekeeping with Wildlife Management HNC Sports Therapy HND
Childhood Practice HNC Horticulture HNC / HND Technical Theatre HNC / Technical Theatre and Production Arts HND
Civil Engineering HNC Hospitality HNC / Hospitality Management HND Textiles HNC
Coaching and Developing Sport HNC / HND Jewellery HNC
Computer Aided Draughting and Design (CADD) HNC Marine Engineering HNC

Student life

Student Association

The Highlands and Islands Students' Association (HISA) is based on Church Street in Inverness. They previously were based at the Executive Office on Ness Walk. HISA represents all higher and further education students across UHI and its 12 partners. HISA hosts events including Sports Day, Freshers, Student Elections, HISA Awards and Regional Council. All UHI students aged over 16 are automatically a member of HISA. The Union supports more than 60 clubs and societies.[59]

Student Accommodation

Eight UHI campuses offer dedicated accommodation with more than 600 rooms.[60]

Halls of Residence located on campuses include:

Sports

The students' association, HISA, offers sports clubs including badminton, basketball, boxing, climbing, football, golf, mountain biking, mountaineering, paddle sports, snow sports, sub-aqua, wind and wave, and more. UHI's Sporting Blues awards programme was launched in March 2017 and honors its students' sporting accomplishments. The Elite Athletes Fund supports athletes who are currently studying at UHI or one of its colleges and participating at national or international level in their chosen sport and representing the university/college where possible.[61]

A new sports complex to be situated within the Inverness campus with facilities targeted at both students and campus-based staff, but also available to the broader community in and around Inverness, is being planned. A wide variety of sports and activities will be offered at the centre.[62]

Notable alumni

See also

References

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