Media Release: Oban student lands top role


AN Oban-based student is taking up the top job in the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Students’ Association.

Rachel Parker (21), a marine science student at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI in Dunstaffnage, has been voted as president of UHISA, the organisation which represents the 7,000 students in university’s partner colleges and centres across the region.

Originally from Dunbar, Rachel moved to Oban to undertake her degree and first became involved in the university’s student association when she volunteered as a college representative last year.

She enjoyed helping students, found it benefitted her own development and wanted to become more involved, so she decided to run for the role of president in the UHISA elections earlier this year.

Rachel takes over from the university’s previous student association president today (Monday 1 July). She is taking a year out of her studies to take up the paid position and will continue to be based at SAMS UHI.

Speaking about her aspirations for the year ahead, Rachel said: “My main focus will be to improve student engagement with UHISA and enhance integration of students across the partnership.

“This should help to give students a greater sense of belonging, despite the university’s dispersed nature. I organised SAMS UHI’s first ever fresher’s week last year with no budget so I’m hoping to bring aspects of this and the creative thinking it required to UHISA.”

Dr Iain Morrison, dean of students at the university, welcomed Rachel’s election, saying: “Rachel has been elected to the top job in the university’s Students’ Association at an exciting time.

“We are keen to engage our students as much as possible in the life of the university and Rachel has a key role in helping us to do so.

“We have significantly increased the resources available to UHISA and will look to Rachel and her colleagues to help make a student’s time with us an exceptional and fulfilling experience.”

Rachel will be supported by Dain Roberts, who was voted as UHISA’s depute president, and Kat Bateson, who takes up the role of vice-president. Both Dain and Kat are based in Inverness.


Notes to editors:

The University of the Highlands and Islands is a partnership of thirteen further and higher education colleges, specialist colleges and research institutions, distributed throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They are bound together through constitutional, management and academic structures, and coordinated through an executive office.

There are currently over 7,000 students studying on undergraduate and postgraduate courses or undertaking postgraduate research with the university.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is the only university based in the Highlands and Islands.

Its purpose is to have a transformational impact on the development and prospects for the region, its people and its communities.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is a limited company registered in Scotland No. 148203. Scottish charity No. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ.

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