University search for new principal attracts world class field

The University of the Highlands and Islands’ search for a new principal and vice-chancellor has attracted nearly 80 applications, with more than a third from international candidates.

“We are absolutely delighted with the response,” said Fiona Larg, chief operating officer and secretary. “Forty per cent of our applications are from international candidates, with 35 per cent from staff at other UK universities and the remaining 25 per cent from candidates with substantial leadership experience within similarly complex organisations in the public and private sectors.”

Long-listed candidates will now be interviewed in mid-January, with short-listed candidates interviewed later in the month with a view to announcing an appointment by early February 2014.

“We were looking for an outstanding candidate to lead us in one of the most interesting and challenging developments in post-16 education in recent decades,” added Fiona Larg. “And now we are in the fortunate position to have received many more good quality applications than we could take forward.”

With almost 7,500 undergraduate students enrolled directly and 33,000 further education students across its partnership, the university is at a significant point in its history, with the opportunity to mould and innovate for the future of post-school education in Scotland and beyond.

The new principal and vice-chancellor will replace James Fraser, who led the university to the achievement of title only two years ago, and who retires next week.