The finalists for the second year of The Herald’s Higher Education Awards have been announced.
The awards, in association with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), were launched to recognise the outstanding achievements of colleges and
Supported by Universities Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and City of Glasgow College, the awards comprise 12 categories that look at how institutions develop innovative materials and methods in teaching and research.
Also backed by technology provider Jisc, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Scotland (QAA), ABSOLUTE, Anderson Strathern and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the event particularly highlights aspects such as technology, employer partnerships, student support and community engagement.
Once again the judges have been overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of entries with a total of 129 received.
Barclay McBain, chairman of the judging panel and The Herald’s executive editor, said: “For the second year running I was heartened to learn of the great work across higher and further education.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of UWS, said: “The interest in this competition has been fantastic and the quality and breadth of entries from across the sector is quite astounding – a true reflection of the calibre of Scotland’s higher education sector.
“We are delighted to be part of the Herald awards to show support for raising awareness of, and celebrating, the considerable achievements that are made in Scottish higher education and in particular how it contributes socially and economically in a wide range of areas.”
Rowena Pelik, director of QAA Scotland said she had been “bowled over” by the level of entries this year adding: “The students and staff behind our list of finalists are all winners and choosing between them was incredibly difficult.”
Roy Gardner, corporate development director of City of Glasgow College, said: “The standard of entries this year have been exceptional and it is testament to the quality of work that goes on across the sector. We are very proud to be associated with these awards.”
Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, said the quality of entries from both universities and colleges reflected the breadth of excellence across all aspects of the higher education sector. He said: “I was struck by how many projects had the potential to transform peoples’ lives.”
David Ross, regional manager at SQA said the quality of entries had made judging difficult.
He said: “We have read about some great work in Scotland’s colleges and universities, the high standard of education being offered, the level of learning that is produced and how they engage with employers and support their students.”
Laurence Howells, chief executive of the SFC, said: “It’s great to see so many amazing and exciting examples of things that people in our colleges and universities are doing to make Scotland an even better place to learn, to educate, to research and to innovate.”
Alun Thomas, head of Anderson Strathern’s education group, said he had been delighted by the response to the awards adding: “The quality of the finalists demonstrates the fantastic work happening throughout Scottish higher education.”
Jason Miles-Campbell, head of Jisc Scotland, said: “Although judging involved some tough decisions, it’s been great to see the variety of excellence in Scottish higher education. In the Jisc-sponsored Innovation Technology Excellence Award, the shortlist truly represents the best and most innovative digital practice in the sector today.”
The awards will take place at a gala dinner on Thursday, July 14 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.
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