ON A HIGHER LEVEL – The Herald Higher Education Awards 2023

The Herald Education Awards are underway and entries have been flooding in from academic institutions across the country eager to have their achievements recognised by an audience of their peers.

These Awards, which are now in their eight year, were set up to shine a light on those universities and colleges that were forging new standards of excellence, building links with business and industry and improving outcomes for their students.

This proactive approach to education has never been more important than it is now, when we have come to depend so heavily on fresh talent and innovative ideas in order to solve the challenges of decarbonising our energy supplies; ensuring food security; developing new healthcare therapies and stabilising societies that are becoming increasingly threatened by climate change.

Education is where the answers to these problems will be found and through encouraging mobility, creativity and collaboration our academic institutions have a huge part to play in how the future develops.

For those colleges and universities that have still to throw their hat into the ring, then there is still time. Entries for this year’s Awards will close on Wednesday, 12 April, after which it will be down to a panel of distinguished judges to decide who will be this year’s winners.

There are 16 categories this time round, ranging from ‘Enhancing Student Learning’  and  ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community,’ to the ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity’ award and running through all of the categories is an emphasis on widening access in order to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of high quality education and also as a way of harnessing the skills and talents that this country needs in order to flourish.

Professor Petra Wend, Former Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen Margaret University and Academic Advisory board member of, the global leader in online study success solutions, Studiosity, sponsors of the Supporting Student Wellbeing Award, said: “I am a strong believer in the power of education to create opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background. For me, it is about identifying the potential in people and what they can achieve through education. However, for this transformative power to truly succeed, students must feel that their wellbeing is wholly supported. As former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, and throughout my entire academic career, I have strived to cross borders both geographically and socially in order to realise the full potential for institutions and their students. These awards are a wonderful reminder for all of us to not get bogged down in the many challenges and remind ourselves of the positive impact we have. My sincere congratulations and best wishes to all of the entrants into the Supporting Student Wellbeing category.”

Alastair Delaney, Executive Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive, QAA, sponsors of the Enhancing Student Learning Award said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the Enhancing Student Learning Award! We are consistently seeing excellent examples of innovation to support Student Learning in Scotland, and we’d like to encourage as many teams as possible to put themselves forward and have their efforts recognised”

Other categories include Research Project of the Year sponsored by Scottish Funding Council, Outstanding Contribution from a University Student and Innovative Use of Technology Award.

The winners will be announced at a packed ceremony on Thursday, 1 June at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, which will be hosted by Bryan Burnett and the event will be a chance to celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s higher educational sector and the individuals who have done so much to steer it forwards.

Full details of the awards, including full category listings and information and how to enter are available at: www.newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/heawards/