Thursday, 3 February 2011

UHI; why so long?

The UHI web site presents a 'Timeline of events leading to the creation of the University of the Highlands and Islands'. It begins in 1425 when Perth is indentifed as a suitable site for a university - more here

UHI has a mission statement (just below) and the main UHI web page is here:

To be a distinctive and innovative regional university of national and international significance: a university with a pivotal role in the educational, economic, social, cultural and environmental infrastructure of its region and which reaches out to the people of the Highlands and Islands and the rest of the world through its research and teaching.

I began to think; what makes a successful university, does it matter if it situated in a City? What about transport links - are they important? What impact does the range of courses have on a students choice of campus.

An article in the Guardian in Dec 2010 suggested that 49 institutions all granted university status since 1992 could be seriously threatened here

I have collated a random selection of facts from University web sites - some the first ones to come up on a google search entitled, 'successful universities' - to stimulate thought. What do you think?


With around 35,000 students from over 140 countries, Northumbria University is one of the UK’s largest and most successful universities. Northumbria has a rich history going back through its constituent colleges to the late nineteenth century. It was founded as Newcastle Polytechnic in 1969 and inaugurated as a university in 1992. Offering courses in most major subject areas such as Engineering, Computing, Sciences, Business, Law, Design, Built and Natural Environment, Arts, Social Sciences, Psychology, Sport, Health and many more

Northumbria boasts one of the best inner-city sites in the country having invested well over £100 million in its city centre campus. Our state-of-the-art City Campus East is now home to over 9,000 staff and students from the Schools of Business, Design and Law…one of the most ambitious and successful UK universities for sport and in summer 2010 opened the doors to a state-of-the-art £30 million sport facility - Sport Central

Cardiff University

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, Cardiff University is a dynamic and successful centre of higher education with an international reputation for high quality teaching and research.

Twenty-one subject areas at Cardiff have been awarded the top 'Excellent' rating for teaching in government-sponsored assessments of teaching quality. Cardiff is also one of the most successful research universities in Britain. With over 28,000 students it is a community with an annual turnover of £429 million. The city of Cardiff offers an excellent location in which to study. Students at Cardiff benefit from the combination of a small, friendly, inexpensive city with the cultural and recreational amenities of an ambitious and progressive capital city

Cardiff is an extremely accessible city, benefiting from excellent road, rail and air communications. Using the hourly high-speed train service, London is reached within two hours.

Cardiff has convenient connections to Heathrow and Gatwick airports and the city also benefits from its own international airport. The city is served directly by the M4 motorway providing fast links to the rest of the UK.

York University

Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students, York is one of the most successful universities in the UK and the student body has expanded to 13,000.. With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences to the humanities, we have been recognised as one of the top 100 universities in the world, gaining outstanding results in official assessments of our research and teaching.

York offers something for everyone who lives or works here. It successfully combines a rich historical past with all the attractions of a modern and vibrant city

Leisure attractions include theatres, museums, and art galleries; ancient pubs, chic café bars and restaurants, and a superb array of shops. With the added serenity of its riverside location, beautiful parks and peaceful pedestrianised streets it provides a pleasant setting for residents and visitors alike. The city and surrounding villages offer a variety of housing, an excellent range of schools, and comprehensive health care facilities.

Most importantly, York is a place where people enjoy life: in a recent 'quality of life' survey, York was placed seventh out of 145 cities. York is easy to reach from other parts of the UK and from overseas and when you get to the city, the campus is close to the centre. London is less than two hours away by high-speed train. There are excellent road and rail connections throughout the UK, and international airports at Manchester and Leeds-Bradford are within easy reach.

Warwick University

The University of Warwick founded in 1964, is one of the most successful universities in the United Kingdom. As a result of this, the number of students attending is increasing steadily the registered number in 2007 was over 20,000 and continues to rise.

Liverpool University

The University of Liverpool is a pre-eminent research-based university with 18,000 students pursuing over 400 programmes spanning 54 subject areas. Turnover for 2008/09 was £364 million, including £130 million for research. 5,000 people work at the University, including nearly 1400 academic and 800 research staff.

68.8% of our students achieved a First or 2:1 from classified degrees in 2008 and worldwide we have 155,000 alumni, living in 159 countries.

The University's main campus is located five minutes' walk from Liverpool's city centre and is next to the cathedral. Occupying 100 acres, it contains 192 non-residential buildings that house 69 lecture theatres, 114 teaching areas and state-of-the-art research facilities. The centrepiece of our campus remains the University's original red brick building, the Victoria Building. Built around 1880, it has recently been lovingly restored as a gallery and museum. Located on the Wirral Peninsular, Leahurst campus is renowned as one of the world’s foremost centres of expertise in animal medicine.

Monday, 31 January 2011

“Call for Sites” - communities urged to identify land for development

Extract from Highland Council Press Release 31/01/2011

The Highland Council is asking local communities, landowners and developers to help it identify land in the Inner Moray Firth which should be built on and which should not.

This “Call for Sites” is the first step the Council is taking in producing a document (the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan), which along with the Highland wide Local Development Plan, will guide its decisions on planning applications.

The deadline for suggestions is the end of April 2011. They will then be assessed by the Council before being issued for further public consultation.

If anyone wishes to make a suggestion or wants to find out more they should read the Call for Sites Guide & Forms which are available via the Council’s web-site Or you can telephone Tim Stott on 01463-702265 to obtain a copy of the Guide and Forms.

Full item here

Scotland’s Housing Expo – socio economic study

Extract from a Highland Council Press Release

The Highland Council has recently received the results of an independent study it commissioned to assess the impacts of Scotland’s Housing Expo which was held during the month of August 2010 at Balvonie Braes, Milton of Leys, Inverness. The full results of the study will be reported to the Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee on Wednesday 17 March 2011.

Costs of developing the site and building the houses were in the region of £14 million. Construction activity on the site created 240 full-time equivalent jobs, 14 apprenticeships and £5.8 million in associated direct income and spend during the construction phase.

Overall the Expo event generated off-site visitor expenditure for the local economy of £457,000 and created some 28 full-time equivalent jobs with related earnings income of £543,000. Ticket and programme sales amounted to £137,000.

The total cost of planning for and running the event (since 2008) amounted to nearly £651,000. The Highland Council contributed £263,000 of this budget and Highlands & Islands Enterprise £70,000.

More here