By Andrew Denholm

Education Correspondent


The Herald is today launching its fifth annual Higher Education Awards to recognise the outstanding contribution to society made by colleges and universities across Scotland.

The awards comprise 16 categories which throw the spotlight on innovation in teaching and research.

The event also seeks to highlight partnerships between universities, colleges, industry and the wider community as well as rewarding institutions at the forefront of efforts to recruit talented individuals from more diverse backgrounds.

The awards also recognise the hard work of institutions to support students with both their learning and overall health and wellbeing.

Barclay McBain, executive editor with the Herald & Times Group and chairman of the judging panel, said the awards reflected the importance of education to this newspaper’s editorial agenda.

He added: “The awards recognise major achievements in a sector that is vital to Scotland’s wellbeing.

“My fellow judges and I look forward to learning more about the innovative projects and ground-breaking initiatives in our universities and colleges.”

The Herald is delighted to be supported in the awards by City of Glasgow College, recruitment experts Dixon Walter, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and awards body QAA Scotland.

Alan Walter, a partner with Dixon Walter, described universities and colleges as “anchor institutions” in their communities.

He said: “It is right and proper that institutions should accurately reflect the diversity of these communities. We applaud the efforts of those who make positive contributions towards diversity.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the positive impact of creating a diverse workforce that reflects the whole population and we are delighted to be supporting the category that seeks to recognise equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Ailsa Crum, head of quality and enhancement with QAA Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be part of the awards again. It is inspiring to celebrate the achievements of our high-performing students and staff.”

He added: “These awards showcase the amazing work that goes on within our world-renowned education sector and that is definitely something worth celebrating.

“The recognition of our colleagues whose work has a profound impact on the quality of education throughout Scotland is vital.”

Karen Watt, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, which helps to fund the college and university sectors, said the awards shone a spotlight on the “amazing things” being achieved by institutions.

She said: “This includes recognising the important work colleges and universities are doing to ensure everyone with the talent and potential to benefit from higher education can do so.

“I’m delighted we are sponsoring the widening access category and I am sure this year’s entries will be as inspiring as they have been in previous years.”
The winners will be announced at an earlier- than-usual gala dinner on Wednesday, June 5 at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow.

Entries can be submitted for free by completing our online entry form at before the deadline of Thursday, March 28.

For more information on entering or to discuss sponsorship opportunities contact Hannah Docherty, Events Manager on 0141 302 6037.