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University of the Highlands and Islands

University of the Highlands and Islands
Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean
Motto Scottish Gaelic: Foghlam aig ìre Oilthigh air a' Ghàidhealtachd is anns na h-Eileanan
Motto in English
University-level study in the Highlands and Islands
Established 2011 - University Status
1992 - UHI Millennium Institute
Type federal, public
Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal
Rector Anton Edwards
Principal Professor Clive Mulholland
Students 7,732
Location Inverness (Executive Office), Scotland
Colours Purple & White

The University of the Highlands and Islands (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean) is a federation of 13 colleges and research institutions in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland delivering higher education. Its executive office is in Inverness.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has a number of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, most of which can be studied at a range of locations across the area. There are 7,732 students who are on undergraduate and postgraduate courses[1] and 33,000 further education students.[2] There are 70 learning centres spread around the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire.[3]


  • History 1
    • Key dates 1.1
  • Organisation and administration 2
    • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business 2.1
    • Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering 2.2
    • Rankings 2.3
  • Constituent Institutions 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


While the University of the Highlands and Islands is Scotland's newest university,[4] many of its 13 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.[5]

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 its three faculties, with experienced figures having been attracted from other academic bodies.[6]

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 awarded taught degree awarding powers (tDAP) by the Privy Council[7] under recommendation from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA);[8] 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.[9][10]

Key dates

  • 1992 - UHI Project established
  • 1996 - Millennium Commission funding awarded
  • 1998 - Open University confirms degree validation backing
  • 2001 - Higher education institution status granted
  • 2002 - Research funding awarded
  • 2005 - Application for taught degree awarding powers lodged with the Privy Council
  • 2008 - Taught degree awarding powers granted
  • 2010 - Decision made to relocate to a new campus at Beechwood farm
  • 2011 - Awarded university status as the University of the Highlands and Islands
  • 2012 - Princess Royal installed as Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands

Organisation and administration

HRH The Princess Royal was officially installed as chancellor in June 2012.[11]

Professor Clive Mulholland became principal and vice-chancellor in June 2014,[12] after his appointment to this post was announced in February 2014.[13]

Anton Edwards, a marine physicist, took over as rector in June 2014.[14]

The University coat of arms has been designed to reflect important aspects of the university. A compass rose with a fleur de lys indicating north denotes the university’s location and two open books symbolise learning. The 13 hazel leaves are to represent the university’s partners, a tree associated with wisdom in Celtic and Norse tradition.[15]

It has an annual income of £48.2 million.[1]

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, courses such as Honours programmes in Gaelic,[16] BA (Hons) Theological Studies,[17] BA (Hons) Scottish History [18] and BA (Hons) Scottish Cultural Studies[19] all reflect the distinctive nature of the region, its past, present and future. This last course, BA (Hons) Scottish Cultural Studies is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary programme which has been internationally recognised by receiving the 2005 Times Higher Education Supplement Award for Most Imaginative Use of Distance Learning.[20] Other programmes within the Faculty include the postgraduate masters programmes MSc Cultar Dùthchasach agus Eachdraidh na Gàidhealtachd (Material Culture and Gàidhealtachd History), MLitt Highlands & Islands Culture, MLitt Highlands & Islands Literature, MLitt History of the Highlands & Islands, MLitt Orkney & Shetland Studies, and MLitt Viking Studies, as well as BSc Audio Engineering, BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance, and many others. The business school offers distinctive programmes in Golf Management [21]—Scotland's only degree of this kind—Adventure Tourism Management[22]—using Lochaber, the UK's Outdoor Capital as a living research laboratory—as well as popular courses in Business, Accounting, Hospitality, Computing, Sports Coaching, and Tourism.

From Aug 2013 UHI have benefited from allocation of student teacher places,[23] allowing postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) to be offered, and the success of this has led to the number of places being increased.[24]

UHI Executive Office

Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering

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[25] is an example of a multi-disciplinary programme from this Faculty. The programme has professional accreditation from the Institute of Economic Development.[26] The Faculty also offers postgraduate studies, including an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development.[27] This Masters programme also has professional accreditation from the Institute of Economic Development.

The Energy and Technology subject area offers a range of academic programs up to, and including Masters level. Various subjects are taught at HNC/HND level, including Aircraft Engineering, Architectural Technology, Civil Engineering, Marine Engineering, Computer Aided Draughting, Engineering Systems, Fabrication and Welding and Quantity Surveying. Current degree programs at Bachelors level include BEng(Hons) Aircraft Engineering, BSc Architectural Technology, BEng(Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, BEng(Hons) Energy Engineering, BEng Mechanical Engineering, BEng(Hons) Mechanical and Energy Engineering and BSc Quantity Surveying. Current Masters level programmes are MSc Developing Low Carbon Communities and MSc Sustainable Energy Solutions.

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. 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.

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 HRH Princess Royal in June 2014.[28]


Times/Sunday Times[29]
(2015, national)

Constituent Institutions

Each institution has its own character which contributes to this distinctive organisation.[30]

Map of UHI Campus locations throughout Scotland
College Founded Main Campus Location
Argyll College 1997 Dunoon, Argyll and Bute
Highland Theological College 1974 Dingwall, Highland
Inverness College 1960 Inverness, Highland
Lews Castle College 1953 Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Moray College 1971 Elgin, Moray
NAFC Marine Centre 1992 Scalloway, Shetland
North Highland College 1959 Thurso, Highland
Orkney College 1995 Kirkwall, Orkney
Perth College 1961 Perth, Perth and Kinross
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig 1973 Sleat, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides
SAMS 1884 Oban, Argyll and Bute
Shetland College 1970 Lerwick, Shetland
West Highland College 2010 Fort William, Highland

See also


  1. ^ a b "Facts 2014" (PDF). University of the Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Munro, Alistair (30 October 2013). "Highlands and Islands Uni in new principal search".  
  3. ^ "About UHI". University of the Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Facts and figures". The University of the Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Change in law could be the only way forward for UHI".  
  6. ^ "New UHI deans bring title bid closer". Times Higher Education. 15 October 2004. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "UHI is awarded taught degree awarding powers".  
  8. ^ "Degree-awarding powers and university title".  
  9. ^ "UHI Millennium Institute gains full university status". Times Higher Education. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Highlands and Islands' UHI wins university status".  
  11. ^ "Princess Royal new Scottish university's chancellor". BBC News. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "About UHI: Principal and Vice-Chancellor". University of the Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Highlands university appoints biomedical scientist as new principal". STV News. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Campbell, Rita (2 June 2014). "Marine physicist elected as university lecturer".  
  15. ^ "Scotland’s newest university unveils coat of arms ahead of royal event". University of the Highlands and Islands. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Home: Courses: Undergraduate" (in Gàidhlig). Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Theological Studies (BA Hons)". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Scottish History BA (Hons)". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Scottish Cultural Studies BA (Hons)". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Thomson, Alan (2 December 2005). "Proud winners and PM sparkle at first awards". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Golf Management BA (Hons)". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Adventure Tourism Management BA (Hons)". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "New course enables primary teachers to train in Highlands and Islands". University of the Highlands and Islands. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Teacher training places double at UHI". Scottish Government. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Sustainable development BSc (Hons)". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "University launches first international undergraduate degree". University of Highlands and Islands. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Sustainable Rural Development MSc". University of Highlands and Islands. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  28. ^ Mackenzie, Ruth (28 June 2014). "Alexander Graham Bell Centre open".  
  29. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2015". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  30. ^ Marszal, Andrew (17 April 2013). "University of the Highlands and Islands guide".  

External links

  • Official website
  • Website of Perth College UHI, the largest partner college in the UHI
  • Inverness Campus Website
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