The quality of Scotland's workforce is internationally recognised. With its renowned education system and high ratio of graduates per capita, Scotland surpasses most countries of similar size in Europe.

The Highlands and Islands is served by a first rate education system which provides large numbers of high achievers through primary, secondary, further and higher education. The region hosts one of the UK’s leading integrated universities encompassing both further and higher education. The University of the Highlands and Islands is a network of 13 colleges and research institutions, and 70 learning centres, providing local access to over 40,000 students. Teaching programmes provide articulation and progression routes for a wide range of learners across the region from school, through further education and on to higher education.

The growth and development of the universities sector in the Highlands and Islands is critical to the long term success of the regional economy.

How we work within the universities sector

HIE’s academic development team work to increase the level engagement in the region between the university sector and our businesses, partners and communities.

We currently have six universities with a base in the Highlands and Islands, these are:

HIE's objectives for the universities sector:

  • Key areas of work focus on leadership, provision to attract younger learners, quality, student experience and numbers and internationalism
  • Building a world class research and development base
  • Infrastructure to accelerate knowledge transfer from higher and further education to business
  • Supporting campus developments
  • Ensuring innovative teaching and learning is embraced and that UHI is at the vanguard (maximising use of technology to improve teaching, increase access, greener)
  • Embedding enterprise education at all levels of educational attainment
  • Driving up IT and science literacy
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