The granting of full university status for Perth College UHI has been welcomed as a “momentous achievement.”
A long-awaited goal of the college, confirmation that Perth and its partners in the UHI Millennium Institute become the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) came from the Privy Council.
The title means it will be possible in Perth and Kinross to access university education throughout the area and should act as a driver for economic growth and help the area retain skilled and qualified people.
UHI comprises Perth College UHI, one of the largest partners in the network, and 12 other colleges, specialist institutions and research centres spread across the Highlands and Islands.
The principal and chief executive of Perth College UHI, Dr Thomas Moore, was delighted by the news and the impact it will have locally.
“This announcement of title for the University of the Highlands and Islands is the realisation of a long-time ambition for the region,” he said.
“This momentous achievement is due to the hard work of our staff and students amongst others, without whom all of this would not have been possible.Success”Our success in achieving university title will support economic development and help sustain our rural areas, as the partnership will deliver a continuum of learning from vocational education to PhD.
“We will remain at the heart of the Perthshire community, working closely with our local schools and community to provide vocational education and training.”
Penny Brodie, Perth College UHI chairwoman of the board of management, said, “We have been waiting a long time for this and yet it has come sooner than expected.
“This is a very exciting and momentous occasion. As part of UHI, we have created a new and innovative model of education for teaching and research.”
The opportunities the news will present were highlighted by Perth College UHI students’ president Harry Clapham.
“This is a landmark day for our community, including young people, who no longer have to leave Perthshire if they want a university education,” he said. “It is the most fantastic news that we now have full university status.”
Provost John Hulbert added, “I would like to congratulate all those who have worked hard for this success which is great news for Perth. It comes at just the right time and is an important achievement to support our application for city status at the end of May.”
Perth College was founded 50 years ago.
The main campus is in Perth and has a network of learning centres across Perth and Kinross. Specialist subjects include aeronautical engineering, music and sound production and research in mountain studies.