Minister visits Stornoway campus to mark launch of UHI North, West and Hebrides

The Scottish Government Minister for Higher and Further Education has visited UHI North, West and Hebrides as part of the college’s official launch week celebrations.

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L-R Caroline Macpherson, HISA Gary Souter, HISA Hannah Ritchie-Muir, UHI North, West & Hebrides Vicki Nairn, UHI Graeme Dey, Minister for Higher and Further Education Derek Lewis, UHI North, West & Hebrides Lydia Rhomer, UHI North, West & Hebrides Joe Macphee, UHI North, West & Hebrides

Graeme Dey MSP visited the Stornoway campus on Thursday (14 September), where he met staff and students face-to-face and virtually, finding out more about working and studying in the college’s rural and island communities.

UHI North, West and Hebrides is Scotland’s newest college formed from the merger of UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland.

Mr Dey heard more about the merger programme and the role the college plays in supporting the needs of its local communities through education, training, and research. He also spoke to staff, students and local employers about current and future workforce needs, particularly in key sectors like renewable energy, environmental science, and creative and cultural industries, including Gaelic.

Mr Dey said: “I was delighted to visit the Stornoway campus and meet the staff and students, both om campus and taking part in lessons remotely. I was hugely impressed with the quality of students and the dedication of staff, and I was grateful for the opportunity to meet employers and stakeholders. I look forward to the newly merged college becoming an anchor institution of scale for the Outer Hebrides, North and West Highlands.”

Lydia Rohmer, Principal and Chief Executive of UHI North, West and Hebrides, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mr Dey to our Stornoway campus and show him the positive impact we have on our local learners and communities, and the opportunities in our rural and island communities to support economic, social, and cultural development. We were also delighted to show him the recently started construction phase of our campus redevelopment project, supported by the Island Growth Deal, which will transform our Technology and Innovation Centre, enhance STEM outreach work across the Outer Hebrides and establish a Newton Room to inspire more young people to choose future facing STEM subjects and careers.”

UHI North, West and Hebrides will create an anchor institution connecting rural and island communities through distinctive education and research shaped by the culture, location, and landscapes of the North and West Highlands, Skye, and Outer Hebrides.

By coming together, the college will have combined capacity, resource, and expertise to better meet the needs of its local communities, enhance the student experience, provide equity of opportunity, and drive economic growth in the region.

It will play a key role in enabling people to live, work and study in the area and become more sustainable at a time when colleges are being challenged to do more, with less.