Just two weeks remain for establishments across Scotland to submit their entries for The Herald Higher Education Awards 2024. With the deadline of Tuesday, 19 March fast approaching, it is the final opportunity for colleges and universities to put forward the case for why their achievements deserve recognition.

Scottish higher education has an international reputation, attracting students from many other countries and conducting globally-important research, as well as playing an important role in securing inward investment by foreign companies seeking a workforce that is educated to a very high level.

A commitment to excellence and a willingness to innovate are what keep Scotland’s colleges and universities at the top of the league tables and if previous results from The Herald Higher Education Awards are anything to go by, then there should be no shortage of outstanding examples of best practice for the judges to consider after the deadline for entries passes.

Last year, The University of Dundee was named Higher Educational Institution of the Year and Professor Sir Philip Cohen from its School of Life Sciences received a Lifetime Achievement Award in a double nod to the teaching and organisational excellence within lecture theatres and research facilities as well as to the wider impact of the University and its staff. Dundee has become one of the country’s most important centres of life sciences research and strides are being made on the understanding of how viruses impact the immune system that could lead to new and effective treatments for some of the world’s most serious diseases.

But not all categories within the Awards are about global results, instead some focus on collaboration between institutions and their local communities recognising that the presence of a forward-thinking learning establishment can have benefits beyond the campus itself, especially if the college or university has established strong links with employers who can provide work placements and employment opportunities to students.

Widening access to education is also an important topic and again the Awards recognise not just examples of where barriers have been removed and higher education has been made achievable for as many people as possible, but also they reward initiatives that demonstrate support for students while they are completing their studies, whether that is practical help during the cost of living crisis or an open-door policy by counsellors providing a safe environment to tackle mental health.

This year there are 15 separate awards categories including ‘Enhancing Student Learning, sponsored by QAA Scotland; Supporting Student Wellbeing, Sponsored by Studiosity and Innovative Use of Technology, sponsored by Jisc.

Other categories will recognise outstanding contributions from students and staff members, exceptional research projects, examples of effective business engagement as well as partnership and marketing initiatives that are benefiting students and strengthening the future of the institutions themselves.

Jason Miles-Campbell of event sponsor Jisc, said: “At Jisc, our mission is to improve lives through the digital transformation of education and research, so we’re proud to sponsor the Herald Award for the most innovative use of technology once again. Each year, we are astounded by the quality of entrants, and how their inspiring initiatives stand to shape the future. From virtual reality and immersive rooms in teaching and learning, to advanced analytics in research, and positive appropriate use of AI across the sector, it’s an exciting time for higher education. We’re very much looking forward to hearing from entrants this year.”

The Herald Higher Education Awards 2024 help to build this future excellence by facilitating the sharing of good practice and collaboration and by shining a spotlight on impressive results and this year’s winners will be announced on Tuesday, 28 May in The Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow at an awards ceremony hosted by Fred MacAulay.

Download entry forms and find full details of the event at https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/heawards/