Home Media News Archive 2013 Retiring principal to give Christmas Lecture

Retiring principal to give Christmas Lecture

Wednesday 20 November 2013

The third University of the Highlands and Islands Christmas Lecture will be delivered by the organisation’s outgoing principal and vice-chancellor. James M Fraser MA, MEd, FRSA, who is set to retire at the end of the year, will explore the challenges Scottish universities face in the 21st century.

The free lecture, which will be held in Inverness on Thursday 5 December, will also look at whether the elements universities bring from their past make them suitable for a fast-changing, global environment. Mr Fraser will argue that the University of the Highlands and Islands has unusual characteristics which offer a model of Scottish university more attuned to the realities of the 21st century.

Mr Fraser will use the University of the Highlands and Islands, an organisation which delivers courses through a partnership of thirteen colleges and research institutions around the region, as a case study to illustrate his talk.

Following his lecture, Mr Fraser will be interviewed by local writer and MFR broadcaster, Nicky Marr. He will be quizzed on his 40 year career in education which has seen him help three Scottish institutions gain university status, Queen Margaret University, the University of the West of Scotland and, latterly, the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The event will also feature a performance by some of the university’s BA applied music students and will be followed by a drinks and Christmas canapés reception.

Dr Crichton Lang, deputy principal and vice-principal academic, will take on the role of acting principal for the university from 1 January 2014. Speaking about Mr Fraser’s forthcoming lecture he said: “This will be an opportunity to hear about the experiences of someone who has had a long career in education. Not only has James helped three Scottish institutions to university status, he has also witnessed the changing landscape of the sector over the last four decades. He will have invaluable insights into how universities need to adapt to best serve the needs of today’s learners, communities and employers.”

The 2013 University of the Highlands and Islands Christmas Lecture, ‘The new realities for universities of the 21st century’, takes place from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday 5 December at the One Touch Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness.

To book a place at this free event, please contact the university events team on 01463 279344 or at events@uhi.ac.uk by Monday 2 December.