MEP welcomes support for University of the Highlands and Islands

11 August 2005
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith, has today welcomed the news that University of the Highlands and Islands should be awarded full university status in the next two years.

Mr Smith, who has visited different UHI campuses, praised the commitment to the project shown by those in the Highlands and Islands, and by the three universities who have offered their support.

Commenting on the news Mr Smith said

"UHI is a unique project and one that deserves every success. It has benefited from European funding in the past and is developing a reputation for innovation across the EU. I am pleased to see that progress is being made toward turning it into a fully fledged university.

"Hopefully this will provide a real boost to the areas economy and population. UHI has already made a huge contribution to life in the Highlands and Islands, this will enable that not only to continue, but to improve.

UHI has clearly shown the importance of enabling people to stay at home and study. I have seen this for myself in both Inverness and Stornoway. This has been a real pioneering project and I look forward to seeing the University of the Highlands and Islands achieve full university status in 2007."