The University of the Highlands and Islands celebrates its first anniversary this week.
Since attaining full university status on February 1st 2011, the organisation, which includes Lews Castle College in Stornoway and its campuses in Benbecula and Barra, has reached a number of milestones.
The University’s official inauguration event and procession took place in Inverness in August, HRH The Princess Royal became Chancellor in November and the institution was awarded over 1000 extra student places and £5.7 million of European funds in December.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “This is an important landmark for the University of the Highlands and Islands after all the effort that went into gaining full university status in the first place.
“This has been a very productive first year and I expect the institution to have a long and prosperous future of contributing to the economy in the north of Scotland and enhancing the area’s reputation in education.
“The University has also set an excellent example of how individual institutions can work in partnership which will be a valuable example for others considering a similar option as we seek to reform post 16 education in Scotland.”
The University’s anniversary comes as two new members join its governing body, the University Court.
Professor Bill McKelvey OBE joins the University after ten years as the Chief Executive and Principal of the Scottish Agricultural College.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Professor McKelvey has had a distinguished career in veterinary science practice and research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was awarded an OBE in 2011.
Inverness-based, Iain Scott will bring a wealth of business experience to the University.
As well as being a chartered management accountant, chartered director and a management consultant, Iain is the Director of investment company Highland Venture Capital and several other local firms. Professor Matthew MacIver, Chair of the University Court, welcomed the new members saying: “I am delighted that Iain and Bill will be joining us.
“Their expertise and experience will be a valuable contribution to the continued development of the University of the Highlands and Islands.”
Momentous 12 months
Summing up the year, University of the Highlands and Islands Principal and Vice-Chancellor, James Fraser, said: “It has been a momentous 12 months for the University.
“I must thank all of our partnership staff and supporters for their hard work and dedication in making it possible.
“Although there may be challenges ahead, I believe the University of the Highlands and Islands will continue to grow and develop to meet the needs of the communities we serve and to have a transformational effect on the educational opportunities, culture and economy of the region.”