THE finalists for the second year of The Herald's Higher Education Awards have been announced.

The awards, in association with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), were launched to recognise the outstanding achievements of colleges and


Supported by Universities Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and City of Glasgow College, the awards comprise 12 categories that look at how institutions develop innovative materials and methods in teaching and research.

Also backed by technology provider Jisc, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Scotland (QAA), ABSOLUTE, Anderson Strathern and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the event particularly highlights aspects such as technology, employer partnerships, student support and community engagement.

Once again the judges have been overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of entries with a total of 129 received.

Barclay McBain, chairman of the judging panel and The Herald’s executive editor, said: "For the second year running I was heartened to learn of the great work across higher and further education."

Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of UWS, said: “The interest in this competition has been fantastic and the quality and breadth of entries from across the sector is quite astounding - a true reflection of the calibre of Scotland’s higher education sector.

“We are delighted to be part of the Herald awards to show support for raising awareness of, and celebrating, the considerable achievements that are made in Scottish higher education and in particular how it contributes socially and economically in a wide range of areas."

Rowena Pelik, director of QAA Scotland said she had been "bowled over" by the level of entries this year adding: "The students and staff behind our list of finalists are all winners and choosing between them was incredibly difficult."

Roy Gardner, corporate development director of City of Glasgow College, said: "The standard of entries this year have been exceptional and it is testament to the quality of work that goes on across the sector. We are very proud to be associated with these awards."

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, said the quality of entries from both universities and colleges reflected the breadth of excellence across all aspects of the higher education sector. He said: "I was struck by how many projects had the potential to transform peoples' lives."

David Ross, regional manager at SQA said the quality of entries had made judging difficult.

He said: "We have read about some great work in Scotland's colleges and universities, the high standard of education being offered, the level of learning that is produced and how they engage with employers and support their students."

Laurence Howells, chief executive of the SFC, said: “It’s great to see so many amazing and exciting examples of things that people in our colleges and universities are doing to make Scotland an even better place to learn, to educate, to research and to innovate."

Alun Thomas, head of Anderson Strathern’s education group, said he had been delighted by the response to the awards adding: "The quality of the finalists demonstrates the fantastic work happening throughout Scottish higher education."

Jason Miles-Campbell, head of Jisc Scotland, said: “Although judging involved some tough decisions, it’s been great to see the variety of excellence in Scottish higher education. In the Jisc-sponsored Innovation Technology Excellence Award, the shortlist truly represents the best and most innovative digital practice in the sector today."

The awards will take place at a gala dinner on Thursday, July 14 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. To find out how to attend please contact Claire Hunter on 0141 302 7319.

2016 Shortlist

Student Support Team of the Year

• Edinburgh Napier University - The Confident Futures (CF) initiative

• Glasgow Caledonian University - The Disability Team

• University of Edinburgh - The International Student Advisory Service (ISAS)

• University of Glasgow - Counselling and Psychological Service

Academic Support Team of the Year

• Heriot-Watt University - The Research Futures Team

• University of Glasgow - The Medical Genetics Teaching Team

• University of The Highlands and Island’s - Educational Development Unit

Outstanding Contribution from a Student

• Claudia Wasige - University of Glasgow

• Fergus Taylor - University of Glasgow

• John Beattie - University of the West of Scotland

• Natasha Kerr - Ayrshire College

• Robert Murray - University of Stirling

Enhancing Student Learning Award - Sponsored by QAA Scotland

• Glasgow Caledonian University - Using simulation in Learning Disability Nurse Education

• University of Glasgow - School of Psychology

• University of Stirling - Being Dementia Smart [BDS]

• University of Strathclyde – DMEM

Research Project of the Year

• Heriot Watt & University of Edinburgh - The Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging

• University of Glasgow & University of Strathclyde - Gravitational Waves

Outstanding Employer Engagement - Sponsored by SQA

• Ayrshire College - Making Your Business Our Business

• Glasgow Caledonian University - The School for Work Based Education (SWBE)

• University of Glasgow - Careers Service and RSIO

• University of the West of Scotland - Strategic partnership with St Mirren Football Club

Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community

• Glasgow Caledonian University - Gathering the Voices

• Queen Margaret University - Queen Margaret Children's University

• University of Glasgow - Superhero Science: Agents of A.W.E.S.O.M.E

• University of the West of Scotland - Jenny’s Diary

Partnership Award - Sponsored by Universities Scotland

• Abertay University - Dundee Academy of Sport

• Edinburgh Napier University - Scottish Prison Service & Fife College

• Glasgow Clyde College - NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC)

• Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) - Land-based Strategy

Campaign of the Year - Sponsored by ABSOLUTE

• City of Glasgow College & Nil By Mouth - Kiss Bigotry Goodbye

• University of Edinburgh - #LetsTalk – Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness Week

• University of Glasgow - Gravitational Waves Coverage

• University of Glasgow - World Changers Welcome

Widening Access Award - Sponsored by Scottish Funding Council

• Queen Margaret University - Mad People's History and Identity

• Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

• University of Glasgow - FOCUS West

Innovation Technology Excellence Award - Sponsored by JISC

• Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) - Animal and Equine Department

• University of Glasgow – School of Mathematics and Statistics

Lifetime Achievement Award - Sponsored by City of Glasgow College

• To be announced on the night

Higher Education Institution of the Year - Sponsored by Anderson Strathern

• To be announced on the night