By Kristy Dorsey

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) partnership contributes £560 million annually to the economies which its 13 colleges and institutions serve, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the partnership last year, the report by Biggar Economics found UHI supports 6,200 jobs across the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. According to the Biggar’s impact assessment, for every £1 spent on the university, UHI puts £4 back into the economy.

The report also found that UHI’s impact throughout the whole of Scotland has grown by between 20 and 25 per cent since it was last measured in 2010, mainly due to an increase in staff and graduates.

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However, the report’s authors said UHI’s benefits extend beyond the gross value added and jobs measures by supporting sustainable and inclusive economic wellbeing across the region: “It supports heritage and culture, the economy, the environment, the regional health sector and it offers pathways through tertiary education that give routes to personal and collective growth and development.

“Through the university, the region has greater control of its own economic and social future which will be especially important in helping the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The partnership received full university status in 2011 and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in February 2021. The network covers the largest geographical area of any campus-based university or college in the UK and has the largest student population in Scotland, with nearly 37,000 students.