MEMBERS of the expert panel who will judge The Herald’s new Higher Education Awards have been unveiled.
The group, which will be chaired by Barclay McBain, The Herald’s deputy editor, includes individuals with expertise in a wide variety of fields including business, politics, higher education funding, academic standards and student support.
The judges are MSP Stewart Maxwell, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s education committee, Professor Alice Brown, chair of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Shona Struthers, chief executive of Colleges Scotland and Rowena Pelik, director of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Scotland (QAA).
They will be joined by Jeanne Keay, a vice-principal at the University of the West of Scotland, Craig Taylor, managing director of Glasgow-based technology company Cojengo, Derek Houston, regional manager of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Vonnie Scandlan, NUS Scotland president-elect for 2015/16.
The awards, in association with the University of the West of Scotland, were launched in March to recognise the outstanding contribution made by colleges and universities across Scotland.
There are 13 categories overall which look at how institutions develop innovative materials and methods in their teaching and research to allow them to compete with the world’s best higher education providers.
Supported by the SQA, City of Glasgow College, technology provider Jisc, QAA and the SFC, the awards will also examine how colleges and universities market themselves, use technology, engage with employers, support students and promote economic sustainability.
Mr McBain said: “Education is a vital sector for The Herald and our readers which is why we introduced these awards.
“They are about recognising key achievements in the higher and further education sectors and my fellow judges and I look forward to receiving submissions that showcase innovative work and best practice.
“The categories we have introduced recognise the breadth and depth of work taking place in our universities and colleges and they are also about recognising the work of students. The judges look forward to the task ahead with relish. There will be some very tough decisions to make.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of UWS, added: “Every day truly extraordinary things are happening at Scotland’s universities and higher education colleges where the transformational impact on students is quite astonishing.
“The Scottish higher education sector makes a hugely important contribution to the country’s economy and we are delighted to be supporting these important inaugural awards which celebrate the successes and achievements of the sector.”