University of the Highlands and Islands History
The University of the Highlands and Islands is a tertiary university composed of Academic Partners which are the 13 colleges and research institutions in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland delivering higher education. Its executive office is in Inverness.
The University of the Highlands and Islands has a number of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, most of which can be studied at a range of locations across the area. There are 8,415 students who are on undergraduate and postgraduate courses and 33,000 further education students. There are 70 learning centres spread around the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire.
While the University of the Highlands and Islands is Scotland’s newest university, many of its 13 colleges and research institutions have longer histories, the earliest having been founded in the 19th Century. The UHI network has had a unique structure and the way that it has evolved as a multi-campus institution has been constrained by a legislative framework that deals with further and higher education separately. Technology has played an important part in connecting the partner institutions.
In April 2001, it became known as the UHI Millennium Institute, following the Scottish Parliament awarding Higher Education Institute status. By 2004 full-time deans had been appointed its three faculties, with experienced figures having been attracted from other academic bodies.
University degrees were authenticated by the Open University Validation Service, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Aberdeen until 2008 when the UHI was awarded taught degree awarding powers (tDAP) by the Privy Council under recommendation from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA); Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma courses are awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
University status was awarded by the Privy Council in February 2011, and UHI became the University of the Highlands and Islands.