Strategic aim 3
Provide a range of core curriculum to all of the communities of our region alongside a range of courses distinctive to our research strengths and the region’s environment, cultural heritage, professions and industries and which will attract students from within our region and beyond.
Our undergraduate curriculum will comprise three distinctive strands; a widely available core of subjects which provide equity of access across our region (and potentially beyond) delivered through our blended learning model; a discrete portfolio of subjects derived from our research strengths which will be mainly based at a specific campus at undergraduate level; and a range of profession/industry led provision which may be available at one or more campuses. Our postgraduate portfolio will include single campus, short-term residency and on-line options, appropriate to the subject and the market, and will be derived from our research strengths and our profession/industry led provision.
We believe that there are a limited but significant number of subject areas where our inherent strengths, combined with the distinctive characteristics of our region, make the University of the Highlands and Islands the natural choice at which to study. We will build a national and international reputation for excellence in these subjects.
Objectives within the term of this strategic plan:
3.1 Ensure that curriculum design maximises the opportunities and support for access, articulation and progression.
3.2 Optimise flexibility in pace, place and mode of study in order to meet the need for learner-centred lifelong learning, including opportunities for accelerated learning and for credit accumulation and transfer within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.
3.3 Establish and deliver a core curriculum to which access will be available across our region through our distributed campuses and learning centres.
3.4 Develop greater commonality of content between courses across year one, in order to increase opportunities for access and progression.
3.5 Offer direct entry to year two of four year honours degree courses for high-achieving students with good advanced higher, A-level and similar qualifications.
3.6 Work with schools in our region to provide students with the opportunity to study university year one provision in their sixth year, in order to facilitate the transition to university and to allow them to accelerate their progression to a degree.
3.7 Develop our curriculum to meet the needs of our evolving student profile and of local and regional employers with a focus on priority sectors such as renewable energy, tourism, food and drink, creative industries and life sciences, as well as public services.
3.8 Review the balance between higher national certificate and higher national diploma provision, with articulation to degree courses, and provision of four-year honours degrees, recognising the importance of higher national qualifications as an access route and in specific industry sectors.
3.9 Embed graduates attributes, including employability and entrepreneurship, in our curriculum.
3.10 Work with employers in developing our curriculum and to provide opportunities for work placements, work experience and work-related learning.
3.11 Increase our postgraduate portfolio.
3.14 Increase opportunities for Gaelic medium and Gaelic language learning and make the latter more widely available, in accordance with the National Plan for Gaelic and our own Gaelic Language Plan.
The University of the Highlands and Islands Strategic Plan 2012-17 as approved by Court on 13 December 2011