TODAY The Herald launches its second annual Higher Education Awards to recognise the outstanding contribution to society made by colleges and universities across Scotland.
The awards, in association with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), are made up of 12 categories which throw the spotlight on innovation in teaching and research across the sector.
Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of UWS, said: “We are delighted to be supporting these exciting awards which celebrate the successes and achievements in Scottish higher education and highlight the valuable contribution institutions make, both economically and socially, to our country.
“Scottish higher education has for centuries had a significant and positive impact on the lives of individuals in Scotland and businesses across our great country and we are extremely proud to partner The Herald to ensure these efforts are suitably recognised.”
The awards – which are also supported by QAA Scotland, Universities Scotland, Anderson Strathern, technology provider Jisc, City of Glasgow College, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) – will also examine how colleges and universities market themselves, use technology, engage with employers, support students and promote widening access policies.
Laurence Howells, chief executive of the SFC, said: “It’s great to see these awards back for a second year. Last year was a fantastic celebration of the many great things achieved by colleges and universities in Scotland.”
Rowena Pelik, director of QAA Scotland, said: “We are delighted to again be part of this annual celebration of commitment, innovation and creativity by students and staff across Scotland’s outstanding university sector.”
Dr Janet Brown, chief executive of the SQA, which is sponsoring the Outstanding Employer Engagement award, added: “Ensuring relevant employability skills are part of the student learning experience is key to enabling their future progression and in meeting a wide range of workforce development needs.”
A new category for 2016 is the Partnership Award which will examine how innovative collaboration between institutions is making an impact.
Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, which is sponsoring the award, said: “Collaboration is a defining feature of higher education and our universities are always looking for opportunities to develop new, or expand existing, partnerships both at home and internationally.”
Supporting the Lifetime Achievement Award once more is City of Glasgow College and principal Paul Little said: “Recognising the exceptional achievements that take place across the educational sector in Scotland is testament to the hard work, determination and professionalism of those who work in this industry.”
Jason Miles-Campbell, head of Jisc Scotland and Northern Ireland, which is sponsoring the Technology Innovation Award, said: “Scotland’s higher education sector is world class, but it’s a rare chance we get to shout about the community’s excellent practice.”
Once again the overall award for the Higher Education Institution of the Year, supported by Anderson Strathern, will be judged on the basis of the quality of the submissions from the other categories.
Fiona Killen, the firm’s education governance lead, said: “Education is at the heart of the future of Scotland and we are committed in supporting the institutions who are building that future.”
Entries are invited by visiting www.herald-events.com/heawards before the deadline of Thursday, May 12. For more information on entering the 2016 awards or to discuss sponsorship opportunities please contact Claire Reid on 0141 302 7319.