John Howieson

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI student of the year

John Howieson, originally from Dumfries but now living on the Isle of Skye, has been awarded the title of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI student of the year for 2016.  John is a retired headmaster and Gaelic learner and has been an enthusiastic learner and supporter of the Gaelic language for a number of years.  He originally developed his language skills through attending Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI’s summer school programme.

John was actively involved in developing Gaelic-medium secondary education in his former role as Head-teacher of Portree High School from 1998 to 2007 and he began a full-time Gaelic-medium course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in 2013.  Since then, he has completed year three of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ BA (Hons) Gaelic Language and Culture degree and will commence his final year in September 2016.  As part of the honours year, students on the Gaelic and Related Studies Scheme have the opportunity to undertake an overseas students exchange in either Ireland or Canada.  John has elected to undertake his student placement at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, where he will spend four months studying courses on Cape Breton history and culture.

In 2014, John was also named Gaelic Learner of the Year at the Royal National Mòd in Inverness – an award which recognises a Gaelic learner who has made significant steps to fluency.  In addition to his academic achievements, John has immersed himself fully in college and student life and is particularly helpful and supportive of other students.

John Howieson receives his award from Fiona Larg, chief operating officer and secretary, University of the Highlands and Islands.