Stornoway to become a university town?

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New student accommodation, specialised degrees and research conferences are set to recreate Stornoway as a University Town.

Less than five years ago Lews Castle College UHI in Stornoway (and its Benbecula campus) along with their partners under the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) umbrella were awarded full university status.

The aspiration for Stornoway to become a leading light for learning, research and innovation was immediately set out.

It was described how the college would be able to offer an increasingly compelling alternative to those who prefer to stay locally to study, and build on its ability to attract people to the Islands in order to take advantage of top quality educational opportunities.

The transformation of Stornoway from a remote town with a fragile economy on the Western edge of the UK to a University Town’s hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit has been driven forward to this day.

The latest news is that the college is seeking a new town centre base for accommodation to host 40 students and researchers, adding to the accommodation already available at the town’s Bridge Centre.

The ability to persuade students and innovators to choose to study and work in the Western Isles should have a significant positive spin-off for the local economy.

The college is also on the brink of announcing specialised new degrees for 2016 which will add to the town’s ability to attract the brightest and best from around the country and internationally.

Read more in the current issue of the Stornoway Gazette - on sale now.