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'Powerhouse' ambition for University of Highlands and Islands as 10th anniversary marked; Multi-campus Highland university marks milestone by welcoming new leader


By Ian Duncan

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The virtual principal: Prof Todd Walker will initially communicate via the internet with UHI while Covid restrictions are in place
The virtual principal: Prof Todd Walker will initially communicate via the internet with UHI while Covid restrictions are in place

The University of the Highlands and Islands celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, while also welcoming a new leader.

Professor Todd Walker is joining the university as principal and vice-chancellor from Australia, where he has worked in higher education.

He will initially work remotely from his home in New South Wales, before relocating to the Highlands when Covid-19 restrictions ease.

Prof Walker said: “Personally, I am delighted to be joining the university partnership on its 10th birthday.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with staff and students, partners and principals, community and government, as we build and strengthen the university partnership in shaping this remarkable organisation for the next 10 years.”

The project to establish a university in the region started in 1991 when Highland Council set up a steering group with a plan to offer higher education opportunities through bringing together existing colleges and research institutes to work more closely together.

Garry Coutts: 'Powerhouse' ambition.
Garry Coutts: 'Powerhouse' ambition.

Garry Coutts, chairman of the University Court, said: “I still remember the day we became a fully-fledged university. It was such a great moment and a huge point in our history.

“For many it was the culmination of decades of hard work, and we owe a huge debt for all the efforts that got us to that stage. But we must always remember that the expectations were far greater than just being able to say we were a university.

“We need to become the powerhouse for economic, cultural and social development that was promised.

“I think we have made great strides in that direction, and I am sure we will continue in that ambition.”

Staff and students plan to mark the milestone through a range of events over the next six months.

For more, visit www.uhi.ac.uk/birthday


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