Welcome to the first alumni e-newsletter of the year.  It is jam-packed, sharing some our university highlights from the over the past few months and loads of news from your fellow alumni! If you have a story you'd like us to share, please let us know using the update-your-details form! 

And as always, please get in touch if you have any ideas, questions or feedback.

2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for UHI and we can't wait to share more with you soon!

Shoot, Submit, Spend!

We need your help creating a film which celebrates the diversity of our students, staff, alumni and 80+ locations - from wild landscapes, islands and oceans, historic towns, buzzing cities and cutting-edge research parks.

Dip into your old phone videos or shoot something new. Whether it’s work or play, studying indoors or exploring the great outdoors. We’re looking for anything that captures your life at UHI, or living across the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire and we’re offering a £50 for every clip we use! (max £100 per person) Please bear in mind that we want to see YOU in the video too! 

Are you a commercial videographer or drone pilot with footage from in and around our campuses and learning centres? Please get in touch to discuss commercial opportunities via socialmedia@uhi.ac.uk.


Entries are now open for the 2022 UHI business competition

Budding entrepreneurs with a business idea are invited to apply, with £8000 in prize money up for grabs.

The competition is open to anyone living in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. Entries will be shortlisted to 15 and finalists will be invited to meet the competition judges to discuss their ideas further on finals day on Wednesday 25 May.

Run by CREATE, part of the centre for remote and sustainable communities based at Inverness College UHI, the competition encourages enterprise and innovation by supporting people to take their first steps on the road to starting their own business. All finalists will receive feedback and support from some of the region’s top entrepreneurs and business advisors to take their idea forward.

The closing date is 12 noon on Wednesday 23 March.

So, what are you waiting for - ready, set, go!  

Pictured - 2020 winner, UHI alumnus, Matej Papp, a personal trainer from Inverness, who along with Ahmed Nassar was awarded £1000 for 'Boxfluence' and a portable boxing ring, GoSparTM.


Graduate Career Advantage Scotland

The GCAS Talent Pool is a new government-funded initiative which supports recent graduates living in Scotland to find rewarding employment. They offer access to high-quality paid internships by collaborating with employers, universities, and other key agencies.

• Are you unemployed or in a job that doesn’t match your skills or ambitions?
• Did you graduate from your latest qualification in summer 2019, or more recently?
• Are you aged 29 or under?
• Do you have the right to work in Scotland?

Find out more about Eligibility

Finding a next step that’s right for you after university can be difficult. The pandemic has added a layer of economic and personal upheaval and uncertainty. This programme of support has your specific circumstances in mind.

By signing up to the GCAS Talent Pool you will gain exclusive access to graduate internships including regular updates about new and upcoming opportunities, careers advice and support, and you can opt in to more.

Apply to join the Talent Pool today. This could change your life!

UHI news

Research shows mental health impacts of Covid-19 on NHS Highland staff

Research carried out by a team from the University of the Highlands and Islands and NHS Highland has examined the impact of COVID-19 on the mental wellbeing of health and social care workers in the area.


Read more


Funding for research into mental health and wellbeing on Scottish islands

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership has received Scottish Government funding to research and increase awareness about the mental health and wellbeing of people living on Scottish islands. The partnership, hosted by UHI, was awarded £4,488 from the Healthy Islands Fund that is managed by Inspiring Scotland. The fund supports the delivery of the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan, notably its aim ‘to improve and promote health, social care and wellbeing for those living in Scottish island communities’.


Read more


SSE Renewables £550k contribution energises university's STEM outreach programme

An independent report has found that a UHI outreach programme has helped young people across the Highlands gain better access to vital education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).


Read more


First recipients of the John Preston Music Awards announced

At the end of 2021, we were delighted to announce Scott Rough and Hannah Campbell as the first winners of the UHI John Preston Music awards. The awards are funded through the Liam Colgan Music Fund on behalf of John Preston's widow Roz, who has established a memorial fund in his memory.  John started his career working in an Edinburgh record store before rising to became one of the most senior figures in the UK music industry. 

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Elgin student scoops inaugural Peter May prize

A short story of three researchers trapped in a sea of insects who quickly succumb to the inevitably of their fate is the winner of the first Peter May fiction prize! 

Read more



Digital health study aims to help pre-operation patients

UHI and NHS Highland are planning to launch a new project to discover if a digital treatment can help patients on the waiting list for knee and hip operations. The study will see 100 patients from across the Highlands use Joint Academy, a digital treatment app developed by a Swedish digital health company, over a six-month period.

Read more


Into a bit of wild swimming?

UHI has launched a new project to develop an online resource for wild swimmers.

SwimWild, a company which offers open water coaching, adventures and events, is working with Moray College UHI’s computing and digital media department to create a portal where enthusiasts can find information about wild swimming locations around Scotland. The resource will feature reviews of swimming locations, including advice on accessibility and difficulty.

Read more


Did you study a music related course?

The Liam Colgan Music Fund would really appreciate your views on the issues faced by young musicians in our area and the types of support most needed.  Please complete this 5 minute survey, to help determine where they should best direct their funds. As a thank you, those who agree to be contacted, will be entered into a grand prize draw later this year (details will be announced in due course.)

Complete the survey

Alumni ambassadors

We are looking for a wide variety of alumni ambassadors, who have studied a range of different courses, at all our partner college locations. Interested? Find out more here!

Meet our newest ambassador:

Ellen Grieve
BA (Hons) Applied Music, 2021

Ellen is currently studying part time for her MA Music and the Environment at Orkney College UHI whilst working full time for NHS Orkney.

"I enjoy helping people, it is what I do all day every day. I have loved my time at UHI, trying to ensure that I enjoyed every minute of my studies. Applied Music was great. I spent five years on the Orkney College Management Committee and the Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee as well which gave me a great insight into how the college and UHI work." 

Alumni news

Thank you to everyone who shares their news with us! We love hearing what you're up to!

Sadly, we don't have room to feature them all, but here are just a few:

Blair Coron
BA (Hons) Popular Music, 2014, Perth College UHI

We’re delighted to share Blair's film ‘Cairn’. Funded by Creative Scotland – it is a collection of new music, set to archival recordings of those who once lived in the Scottish Highlands and Islands discussing moments of childhood, folklore and people. This will be the first of two parts, a filmed cinematic live performance and then a following album, containing more stories and music, shortly after. 

"This has been such a joy to create. The voices living on through here have been such close companions of mine over the last two years. They provide a feeling of comfort and home. I hope they will be your companion too. - Blair Coron

Blair also applied to use the Made in Scotland trademark for this project which is free for all UHI alumni to use, if you want to find out more head over to our


Alumni Spotlight: Kaytie Black

After graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Practices at our Perth College UHI campus, she shares her inspiring story with us.

"I have always had a love for art, as it is my own kind of therapy. After the death of my sister Megan in 2013, I found art was a way of helping myself to express in a way without having to speak about it. Since graduating, I have successfully obtained a job down at Perth and Kinross Council doing Art for Therapy with young people coming out of the care system. This is genuinely the perfect job, and I am so lucky to have secured this whilst coming to the end of my last year."

You can see Kaytie's work on her website, Instagram and Facebook.


Dr Mandy Haggith
PgDip, Tertiary and Higher Education, 2020, Lews Castle College UHI

Dr Mandy Haggith, literature and creative writing lecturer based at Inverness College UHI has joined other leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond, in BBC Radio 3 ‘The Essay’,

Listen to Mandy’s essays ‘Pytheas and the Sea’ and ‘Maidens, Matriarchs and Crones’, both based on the research for her historical novel trilogy, as part of a series about the Iron Age, called ‘Tribal Britain’.

Find out more about Mandy's writing and teaching on her website!


Connie Flynn, B.A. (Hons) Contemporary Textiles, 2015, Shetland College UHI

Connie has led the creation of a protest banner demanding an end to violence against women.

Funded by Arts Council England and working in partnership with Norfolk Libraries, 'Stitching Our Stories' was inspired by the long history of the women creating textiles as protest and as a response to the increase of gender-based violence during the pandemic.  Twenty-five women worked collaboratively on the project, and officially unveiled the banner on 25th November, coinciding with White Ribbon Day, the campaign to end male violence against women.

“I hope that the Stitching Our Stories textile banner with the flowers, candles and quotes becomes a visual shout and quiet whisper for peace and hope in the future.” – Connie Flynn

Read more

Rachel Jutková
BA (Hons) Fine Art, 2021
Shetland College UHI and Moray School of Art

I cannot say how glad I am that I chose to study in Scotland, especially at such a unique institution as UHI! I had the best experience with the best tutors, studying both at Shetland College UHI and later Moray School of Art. I am sure that 'one good thing leads to another' (exactly as my painting confirms) and that my future studies will continue as a natural extension to what I've learned at UHI. Hopefully, I'll be able to return to Scotland someday and reconnect with the places and people I've had the chance to visit and meet. It was fantastic, thank you!  The image is me in the painting studio, on the first day of my MA degree course in Contemporary Painting in Slovakia - my home country.” 

Visit Rachel's Instagram to see more of her work.


Exploring the work of two alumni, and their journey as professional composers.

Eamonn Watt and Ewan MacKay both studied with UHI on the BA (Hons) Applied Music and MA Music and the Environment courses, and have been forging successful careers as young composers ever since. 

In this FutureMe podcast episode, they talk to Simon Bradley about their work to date, and life in the creative industries after graduation!


Bill Skeoch
MA Music and the Environment, 2018, West Highland College UHI

Please watch this lovely
video from alumnus Bill Skeoch, where he shares his student experience. The MA Music and the Environment provides a foundation for musicians to develop new paths for creative, entrepreneurial and environmentally responsible endeavours. In addition, the course equips musicians to work within their own community, establishing effective and successful contributions to their local economy. 


Alumni Spotlight: Mati Fleszar.

"I studied for five years at Perth College UHI. I did my Hospitality Level 1 all the way up until my HNC qualification in Professional Cookery. I currently work at the Mercure Perth. I'm enjoying it a lot and learning my way up to be a Sous Chef soon. I have created an Instagram account @chefmati1992, where I showcase all the skills I have learnt on my path, both at college and work"

Read more


Ealasaid Nicleoid
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, Lews Castle College UHI

As part of my 4th-year project, I worked with a local engineering company. This was hugely beneficial applying what we were taught in a real-world situation.”

Ealasaid now works as a Graduate Engineer with Ocean Kinetics Ltd alongside her role as a part-time Firefighter with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Alumni benefits

All alumni have access to a range of benefits and services.

If you can offer a discount to your fellow alumni or have any suggestions to enhance the range of benefits we offer - we'd love to hear from you!

Careers support for life

Iain Eisner and Helen Anton from the Careers and Employability Centre are here to support you to develop and manage your future career, providing you with the ability to book guidance appointments, search the Job Shop, book a mock interview and upload your CV or application form for feedback.

Simply register with FutureMe.


Discount on taught postgraduate courses and research programmes

A 10% discount on the tuition fee is available for all taught postgraduate courses and postgraduate research programmes for alumni of the university, who have graduated with an undergraduate or postgraduate taught degree.

Read more


Alumni access to e-Resources

As one of our alumni, you can access a range of free e-Resources to assist with your lifelong learning after leaving university.

To access, please register here.


‘They Are Preserved Forever’: Visualising the Memorialisation of Archipelagic Religious and Community Identities (Sarah Jane Gibbon and James Moore)

Islands Matter 6: Women in Manx Politics: Small island democracy?

UHI Tourism Forum

Wild SciArt: Art, Science and Algae

Islands Matter 7: Shetland: A fishy tale by Dr John Goodlad

Hands Across The Sea Conference

'Shetland in the Sagas: Invisible or Hidden?' Brian Smith

'Shining a Light Over History: Vikarvet Antiquities Association and the Use of History in Bohuslän' Dr Thomas Småberg

'The Convention for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: Resistance, Challenge, Opportunity' Professor Mairéad NicCraith

'Across the 'Fundamental Field' in the European North: Ethnological Perspectives on Indigenous Knowledge and Land-based Learning for Sustainability'

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