Media Release: University of the Highlands and Islands student to be next president of NUS Scotland

Luke Humberstone NUS Scotland President Elect

Triple success for HISA!

•  Inverness College UHI student, Luke Humberstone, elected president of National Union of Students Scotland 2017/2018
•  Lews Castle College UHI student and Highlands and Islands Students’ Association class representative, Joshua Smith, excels at sparqs Conference 2017
•  HISA secure ‘Education Award’ for pioneering work with apprentices across the Highlands and Islands

THIS weekend saw unprecedented success for one of Scotland’s newest-formed students’ associations, the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA), representing University of the Highlands and Islands’ students.

At a packed awards ceremony in Edinburgh on Thursday, sparqs, the national body governing quality training across the student experience, awarded best College Course Rep of the Year to Joshua Smith, currently an HNC Admin and IT student at Lews Castle College UHI.

HISA class representatives are the first point of contact for students at each college within the university and play a central role in ensuring that each student has their voice heard.

Friday then saw a delegation from HISA join student representatives from across Scotland at NUS Scotland’s National Conference in Dundee, to elect their new full-time student leaders for the upcoming year.

No stranger to travelling the breadth of the Highlands and Islands for his current role, after an extensive campaign reaching across all of Scotland HISA president and Inverness College UHI student, Luke Humberstone, was announced president-elect of NUS Scotland. Luke is the first-ever student from the Highlands and Islands to be elected NUS Scotland president.

In post with HISA until June, Luke will take over from current president Vonnie Sandlan, for an one-year term, from mid-July.

The NUS Scotland Awards 2017 also took place at this conference and after being shortlisted for both College Students’ Association of the Year and the Education Award, HISA were delighted to win the latter for their pioneering work bringing together student apprentices across the Highlands and Islands.

HISA talked to students from a range of disciplines; from construction and engineering to gamekeeping and health and social care.

Luke Humberstone, NUS Scotland president-elect, said: “It’s a huge honour to have been elected NUS Scotland president. I’ve been incredibly inspired by the people I’ve campaigned alongside during my time as a student, and can’t wait to get to work this summer to carry that on.

“Our movement faces a hugely important year ahead. Brexit poses a number of threats to our education system and students’ lives, and our student support system is undergoing a root and branches review, it’s absolutely vital that students’ and young people’s issues are at the centre of the conversation going forward.

“When access to education still too often depends on your background rather than potential, when student support still doesn’t give the financial assurances it should, when education is still inflexible to the needs of students; it’s clear we still have a long way to go.

“Being HISA president has enabled me to see first-hand the incredible passion and ability the student movement has, across all areas of the Highlands and Islands.

“I know what the challenges are from Lerwick to Dunoon and I’ve no doubt that we carry on the significant wins we’ve achieved in recent years.

“We will build an even stronger and more inclusive student movement with a focus on developing student associations and ensuring mental health is always at the top of the political agenda. We will fight to ensure we get the education system students need and deserve, now and in the future – across the Highlands and Islands and all of Scotland.”

Current HISA vice-resident for Further Education, Max Haddow-Mendes, said: “I’m delighted for Joshua, I also study at Lews Castle College UHI and so I’ve seen first-hand the work he’s been doing to support students locally to have their voices heard.

“Class rep meetings provide a key forum for students to discuss the issues affecting them, and he’s worked just so hard on developing these that it’s awesome to see this recognition!

“It’s also been fantastic to see the HISA Apprentice Tour recognised at these National Awards.

“The Apprentice Tour is a first of its kind in Scotland and the first time student apprentices have had a chance to talk about issues affecting them, like cost of living and pay.

“We talked to students from across the region, from Orkney to Inverness, and are looking at ways to support them, including campaigning on key topics like council tax exemption, barriers to funding and apprentice wages.”



Isla Pedrana
Communications co-coordinator
Highlands and Islands Students’ Association
Phone – 014632 79391
Mobile – 07789 834 955
E-mail –

For more information on HISA,


MEDIA RELEASE issued by Littlehouse MediaUHInformation.

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