GLASGOW University has won the top accolade at The Herald's 2016 Higher Education Awards.

The university was voted Higher Education Institution of the Year with judges praising staff for pushing the boundaries in technology, science, law and the arts.

It is the second year in a row the university has claimed the top honour in the Herald's awards, which are run in association with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and throw the spotlight on innovation in teaching and research across the sector.

The awards – which are also supported by QAA Scotland, Universities Scotland, Anderson Strathern, technology provider Jisc, City of Glasgow College, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), media company ABSOLUTE and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) – were hosted by Scottish broadcaster Sally Magnusson at an event at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

Presenting the top honour to Glasgow University, Alun Thomas, head of Anderson Strathern’s education group, said: "This is a fantastic night which recognises the brilliant work being done in the Scottish higher education sector.

"We would like to congratulate all the finalists, but in particular Glasgow University for winning the Institution of the Year Award."

Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of UWS, also paid tribute to the successful finalists and stressed how important it was to raise awareness of the success story of Scottish higher education.

He said: "It was a pleasure to see the standard of entrants across all categories. The quality of work being done is astounding and I would like to congratulate all institutions for their fantastic submissions."

The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was John Norman Macleod of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO), the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture on the Isle of Skye.

Prior to his appointment, SMO was an independent college offering seasonal short courses in Gaelic language and culture, but today it offers five honours degrees as well as postgraduate courses.

A spokesman for City of Glasgow College, which sponsored the award, said: "Education is at the heart of everything we do and this event is a great way to celebrate the tremendous work and commitment of Scotland's universities and colleges.

"We would like to congratulate all the entrants and particularly like to pay tribute to John for winning the Lifetime Achievement Award which we were delighted to support this year."

Glasgow University also won the Innovation Technology Excellence Award, which was presented by Jason Miles-Campbell, head of award sponsor Jisc Scotland.

He said: "Once again we’ve seen Scotland at the forefront of digital in education and the finalists demonstrated how digital has the power to transform learning, teaching and research.

"The winner stood out through the innovative use of technology-enhanced feedback to assist students getting to grips with difficult concepts in maths and statistics. Huge congratulations must go to Glasgow University."

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow, won the Widening Access Award, sponsored by the SFC, for the work it has done to ensure equal access for students from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

Professor Alice Brown, chair of the SFC, said: “The quality of entries for the category was truly exceptional, which is a reflection of the impressive work going on in our colleges and universities to open up opportunities for people across Scotland.

"Warmest congratulations to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This award is well-deserved recognition of their commitment and hard work and the new and innovative approach they have taken to addressing the important aim of widening access."

Dr Janet Brown, chief executive of the SQA, which sponsored the Outstanding Employer Engagement category, paid tribute to award winner UWS.

She said: "We have heard about some great work from the finalists in the category and how they deliver employers' workforce development needs. I'd like to congratulate all the finalists and in particular category winner UWS on its success."

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, who presented the Partnership Award, said: “Congratulations to Edinburgh Napier University on winning this category.

"These awards are a fitting recognition for the tremendous work being produced by Scotland’s higher education sector."

Chris Hodgen, managing director at ABSOLUTE, said: “We would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists from this event including Edinburgh University for winning the Campaign of the Year Award.

"This is a fantastic evening showcasing not only the best creative work going on in the Scottish higher education sector, but some exceptional work across the board. Well done to everyone involved.”

Rowena Pelik, director of QAA Scotland, added: "This is a fantastic celebration of the strength of Scotland’s universities. It really is both an honour and a privilege to be part of this event and to contribute to what makes higher education in Scotland amongst the best in the world."

Full details of the evening, including footage and pictures from the event can be viewed at

2016 Shortlist & Winners

Student Support Team of the Year

Edinburgh Napier University - The Confident Futures (CF) initiative

Glasgow Caledonian University - The Disability Team - Commendation

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

University of Glasgow - Counselling and Psychological Service - Winner

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 - Winner

Outstanding Contribution from a Student

Claudia Wasige - University of Glasgow - Winner

Fergus Taylor - University of Glasgow - Commendation

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 - Winner

University of Glasgow - School of Psychology

University of Stirling - Being Dementia Smart [BDS] - Winner

University of Strathclyde – DMEM

Research Project of the Year

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

University of Glasgow & University of Strathclyde - Gravitational Waves - Winner

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 – Winner

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 – Winner

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 – Winner

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 – Winner

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 – Winner

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 – Winner

Lifetime Achievement Award - Sponsored by City of Glasgow College

John Norman MacLeod - Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO)

Higher Education Institution of the Year - Sponsored by Anderson Strathern

University of Glasgow