Big changes in prospect at Highlands University
THE governance of Scotland’s newest university is to be overhauled following warnings over the institution’s future.
A report published yesterday recommends streamlining how the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is run, including reducing from 28 to 18 the number of those on the university court.
It follows the publication of a damning report earlier this year which warned the institution was in jeopardy unless “radical changes” were made to the university’s “unwieldy” governing body.
Yesterday’s report, which was written by Dr Michael Foxley, chair of West Highland College, itself part of UHI, called for the university to be the “main fundable body” for higher and further education in the Highlands and Islands.
As well as reducing the size of the university court, the report also called for a new regional further education board and local college boards chaired by independent board members.
Welcoming the report, education secretary Mike Russell said: “There are specific challenges with the management of a complex university, and I was pleased to see the helpful proposals contained in this report.
“I look forward to seeing them in action and helping UHI continue to grow and offer new opportunities to students.”
Earlier this year, a report by Capita Consulting claimed colleges forming UHI had a “distrust” in the hierarchy and feared a formation of a university of Inverness. The consultants described the university’s governance model as “unduly inefficient and ineffective”.
Commenting on the publication of yesterday’s report, a spokeswoman for UHI said: “The university court will meet later this month to take forward the proposals and to put in place a new, more integrated structure for the governance and management of further and higher education in the region.”
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