A large, mixed group of people stand on stage in colourful formal wear accepting an award.

All of the winners at the 2024 Herald Higher Education Awards

Edinburgh Napier University has been named this year’s Higher Educational Institute of the Year in The Herald Higher Education Awards.

The accolade was handed over last night in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow in front of an audience of more than 260 members of Scotland’s higher education establishment.

The announcement was the highlight of an evening during which colleges, universities staff members and students from across the country were recognised for outstanding achievements.

Amongst the awards recipients were the University of Glasgow for its James McCune Smith Scholarship and Development programme, which won the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award, and Abertay University, which won in the Outstanding Business Engagement in Universities title for its Spearheading Low Carbon initiative with Transform Net Zero.

The event, which was hosted by Fred MacAulay, recognised the positive impact that learning institutions can have, not just on their student cohort, but on wider society too, with Dumfries and Galloway College receiving the Outstanding Business Engagement in Colleges award for its initiative that is helping to backfill the NHS whilst training new health professionals, while Queen Margaret University, in partnership with STV Children’s Appeal, won the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community title for its Enhanced Learning Tutoring Initiative, and the Partnership Award went to Edinburgh College for its Sports Rehabilitation Degree Programme, which is carried out in conjunction with Scottish Rugby Union and NHS Scotland.

Creating pathways into education for those that may encounter barriers is an important issue and once again there was a win for Edinburgh Napier University in the Widening Access Award for the HUB for SUCCESS initiative aimed at those who are care experiences, while Glasgow Kelvin College won the Marketing/PR Campaign of the Year award for its creation of a National Opportunity Day to highlight the opportunities offered by the college.


There was recognition too for the University of Glasgow’s Enhanced Learning for All initiative to support student learning development, which won the Enhanced Student Learning Award, sponsored by QAA.

Afterwards, Kathryn O’Loan, QAA Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “Congratulations to the University of Glasgow. The awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise and celebrate the talent that exists in our colleges and universities. We were delighted to sponsor the Enhancing Student Learning category and it was inspiring to learn more about the diverse range of projects and approaches being adopted across Scotland. All of the finalists should be very proud of their achievements.”

Meanwhile Isabelle Bristow, Managing Director UK and Europe, for Studiosity, who sponsored the Supporting Student Wellbeing Award, congratulated the University of Edinburgh, whose Skills for Life and Learning programme, run by its Student Counselling Service, was named winner of the award.

She said: What a wonderful evening! The Scottish HE sector has proved once more what a warm, inclusive and supportive group they are. Once again, I was honoured to be both a category sponsor, and a judge; my fellow judges and I had our work cut out for us, as the creativity, innovation and inspirational advances and contributions to local communities, teaching, and research was in abundance. “A sincere congratulations from myself and everyone at Studiosity to all winners.

Studiosity’s mission is to increase the life chances of every student in the world – which makes it a special honour to have presented the Supporting Student Wellbeing award to University of Edinburgh.”

Individuals singled out during the event were Shalu Madan of Edinburgh Napier University, who won in the Outstanding Contribution from a University Student; David Butler from City of Glasgow College Student’s Union Association, who won in the Outstanding Contribution from a College Student category, and Usha Mani from the University of Dundee who received the Outstanding Contribution from a Staff Member award.

Scotland’s colleges and universities are engines of innovation, as was shown in the Research Project of the Year Award, which was won by the University of Dundee for its work on the international iPlacenta project, which is set to improve maternal and foetal health, while Edinburgh Napier University was commended in the same category for its work on examining the impact of the carriage of Naloxone by police officers in addressing drugs-related deaths in Scotland.

There was a win too for the University of St Andrews’ Graduate Attribute Platform, which allows students to track their skills and development. It was recognised in the Innovative Use of Technology category, which was sponsored by Jisc.

Jason Miles-Campbell, Jisc director, Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “This year’s five finalists in the Jisc sponsored ‘Innovative use of Technology’ category demonstrated the variety of digital enhancement going on now in Scottish colleges and universities.

“Huge congratulations to the winners, University of St Andrews, for their Graduate Attribute Platform project, allowing students to track their progress in employability and transferable skills, giving a richer picture of personal development than grades alone. The project also provides a facility to present future employers with evidence of that development and represents a significant step-up in students being able to evidence their attributes and achievements.”

And finally, to round off an evening that celebrated the very best of everything that Scotland’s higher education sector embodies, the Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Hazel Ednie, Active Living Programme Manager in the Institute of Sport and Exercise at the University of Dundee for her legacy of work over 25 years in this initiative.

The full list of 2024 winners:

ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING AWARD sponsored by QAA • University of Glasgow – Enhanced Learning for All: Student Learning Development

SUPPORTING STUDENT WELLBEING AWARD sponsored by Studiosity • University of Edinburgh – Student Counselling Service – Skills for Life and Learning


OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION FROM A COLLEGE STUDENT • David Butler – City of Glasgow College Students’ Association


RESEARCH PROJECT OF THE YEAR • University of Dundee – iPlacenta

OUTSTANDING BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT IN UNIVERSITIES • Abertay University – Spearheading low carbon innovation with Transform Net Zero

OUTSTANDING BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT IN COLLEGES • Dumfries and Galloway College – Back Filling the NHS whilst training new Health Professionals at College

INNOVATIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY AWARD sponsored by Jisc • University of St Andrews – The Graduate Attribute Platform

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY • Queen Margaret University – The Enhanced Learning Tutoring Initiative (ELTI)

PARTNERSHIP AWARD • Edinburgh College – Sports Rehabilitation Degree Programme partnerships with Scottish Rugby Union and NHS Scotland

MARKETING/PR CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR • Glasgow Kelvin College – National Opportunity Day

WIDENING ACCESS AWARD • Edinburgh Napier University – HUB for SUCCESS

EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AWARD • University of Glasgow – James McCune Smith Scholarship and Development Programme

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD • Hazel Ednie, ISE Active Living Programme Manager, University of Dundee