All the winners from last year's Herald Higher Education Awards

THE deadline is fast approaching for Scottish universities and colleges to enter The Herald’s fifth annual Higher Education Awards.

The awards comprise 16 categories which throw the spotlight on innovation in teaching and research, the achievements of students and staff and partnerships between universities, colleges, industry and the wider community.

It also rewards institutions at the forefront of efforts to recruit talented individuals from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

This year, for the first time, The Herald has also included an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award, sponsored by recruitment experts Dixon Walter.

Read more: Excellence celebrated at 2018 Herald HE Awards

The award recognises colleges or universities making progress on issues such as gender balance, equal pay, disability, LGBTI and black and minority ethnic under-representation.

The awards are also sponsored by City of Glasgow College, awards body QAA Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council, Scotwest Credit Union and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

To be in the running, entries should be submitted through The Herald’s online entry form at by the deadline of Thursday, March 28.

Alan Walter, a partner with Dixon Walter, said: “With equality, diversity and inclusion high on the agenda we support the move towards a well-balanced workforce and culture of acceptance.

“We believe it is important to demonstrate a strong commitment to these big workplace issues.”

David McRiner, chairman of Scotwest Credit Union, said they were delighted to sponsor the Supporting Student Wellbeing Award.

He said: “It is important to recognise how vital the wellbeing of the student population is, supporting and advising them on financial issues, health, personal safety and a host of other matters.

“This support not only helps them during their time as a student, but sets good habits that can be taken further in life.”

Read more: All the winners from 2018 awards

Ailsa Crum, head of quality and enhancement with QAA Scotland, said they were delighted to be supporting the Enhancing Student Learning Award.

She said: “Recognising activity to enhance student learning is an obvious choice for us because it aligns with the work we do all year round to support the sector in improving the student learning experience.

“It’s always a tough category to judge because there is so much great work to celebrate in both the college and university sectors.”

The lifetime achievement award, which recognises the positive contribution nominees have made to the education sector, has been backed by City of Glasgow College.

Paul Little, the college principal, said: “I look forward to celebrating the achievements of the winner on the night of the ceremony.”

Michael Cross, the Scottish Funding Council’s interim director of access, said the body was determined to help learners from Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities.

He said: “Alongside the institutions with which we work, we are making a difference, and we’re determined to maintain progress towards fair and equal access to college and university. We’re therefore delighted to be sponsoring the Widening Access Category at this year’s awards.”

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 5 at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow. For more information on entering please contact Lyndsay Wilson, Events Director on 0141 302 7407.