Media release: Minister welcomes university’s trailblazing approach to education

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP with BSc oral health science tutor Lynne Mackay and student Laura Hinds

SHIRLEY-ANNE Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, has welcomed the trailblazing approach to education and links shown by the University of the Highlands and Islands School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences.

Visiting Inverness today (Wednesday 25 October) Ms Somerville toured the university’s nursing department, lipidomics laboratory, rural health and wellbeing group, oral health science facilities and free radical research laboratory.

She met students and staff and was updated on developments in research and further and higher education provision, including a proposed new degree in optometry and the university’s involvement in the Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine Programme.

Speaking about the visit, Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “We are delighted that the minister has taken the time to visit us and learn about our School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences.

“The school has been blossoming in recent months, drawing together existing areas of curriculum and research and aligning them with significant new developments.

“Although we’re in Inverness today, it is important to highlight that our school operates across our university partnership, spanning both further and higher education across the Highlands and Islands. It will lead to better access to services and improved outcomes for residents across the region, better career opportunities for young people and better career development pathways for the existing workforce. I hope the visit has demonstrated our commitment to the success of the school.”

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “The University of the Highlands and Islands’ model is truly distinctive and innovative – an unique partnership which delivers further and higher education through 13 academic partners.

“The university continues to play a pivotal role in the educational, economic, social, cultural and environmental infrastructure of the region and reaches out to the people of the Highlands and Islands and the rest of the world through its excellent research and teaching.

“The University of the Highlands and Islands is an excellent example of what, with collaboration amongst partners and a wealth of imaginative thinking, can be achieved to meet the learning needs of people in rural areas, and, without doubt, the School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences is another shining example of this.

“Now with over 8,500 higher education students and over 31,000 further education students, the university, through developments like this, continues to provide more young people with the opportunity to live and study in their local area and contribute to the economy.”


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