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Council welcomes university status for UHI (02/02/11)
Read the press release issued by the University of the Highlands and Islands
Highland Councillors today (Wednesday) warmly welcomed the award of university title to UHI, the University of the Highlands and Islands, hailing it as a huge boost to the region’s status and economy.
The Council fully backed the bid for university status and is delighted that a 20-year campaign has finally paid off.
Convener Sandy Park said: “This is absolutely tremendous news for the Highlands and Islands. A university for the Highlands and Islands has been a long held aspiration for the area dating back since at least the 1960s when Inverness lost out to Stirling. The educational, economic and social benefits are huge and are sure to have a transformational impact on the region.
“The benefit of investment in UHI’s infrastructure is already being felt throughout the Highlands in Skye, Fort William, Thurso and Dornoch.”
He said it was important now to make progress with the UHI campus project at Beechwood, Inverness, which promised to bring together academic research and allow businesses to benefit from the pool of talent involved in research and development on the site.
Council Leader Councillor Michael Foxley, who is vice-chairman of West Highland College, added: “We have all worked long and very hard to achieve this. Our university is a statement of pride, confidence and opportunities in the Highlands and Islands. In terms of economic benefit, this exceeds other important milestones in the recent history of the Highlands.
“We were 100% behind this bid for university title status because it will have a major positive impact on the local and regional economy. Socially our communities will benefit from the retention of our young people and from the influx of students from outside the region. This also offers huge opportunities for lifelong learning for our mature students.”