The University of Dundee has been named Higher Educational Institution of the Year in The Herald Higher Education Awards, which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

Staff from the University received the accolade in front of an audience made up of representatives from Scotland’s top-performing colleges and universities, in a glittering ceremony that was hosted by TV and radio personality, Bryan Burnett.

The evening was the culmination of months of discussion and debate amongst judges on which institutes, educational professionals and students had delivered an outstanding performance in their fields.

This is the eighth successive year that the awards have been held and they have come to be recognised as one of the leading marks of excellence for Scotland’s higher educational sector.

Throughout the evening, which was held in support of charity partner, The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, the audience watched as awards were handed out for a succession of outstanding initiatives, collaborations and projects that are helping to maintain Scotland’s reputation as a place of excellence for higher education.

It was a night of multiple celebration for the University of Dundee as representatives watched Professor Sir Philip Cohen receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in establishing the university as a centre of research in life sciences, a sector which is contributing hugely to the UK economy and to the development of new medicines that are transforming health outcomes for patients with cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.

Further accolades for the University of Dundee came in the form of the Enhancing Student Learning Award, sponsored by QAA, which was won by the Business School for its development of digital marketing skills for a sustainable future; the naming of Cameron Irons in the Outstanding Contribution for a University Student category and its triumph in the Innovative Use of Technology Award category, sponsored by Jisc, for its development of Extended Reality for Forensic Science.

Other winners during the night included Queen Margaret University for its Thank Goodness It’s Thursday initiative, which received the Supporting Student Wellbeing Award, sponsored by Studiosity and Kyle Prele from West of Scotland College, who stepped up to collected the Outstanding Contribution from a College Student, sponsored by MDH Recruitment.

Kirsteen Mullen from Fife College was recognised in the Outstanding Contribution from a Staff Member category, while the Research Project of the Year award, sponsored by Scottish Funding Council went to Glasgow Caledonian University’s Blood Borne Virus Prevention Team, with a commendation for the University of the West of Scotland’s project on Cloud Correlation, which is using artificial intelligence to protect our natural environment.

Robert Gordon University’s Women in Business project was named winner of the Outstanding Business Engagement in Universities award, with a commendation for the University of the West of Scotland’s Novel Automated Ozone Technology for Material Decontamination.

The Dance into Industry initiative by New College Lanarkshire, won in the Outstanding Business Engagement in Colleges category and the UWS ASCPP project by the University of the West of Scotland, aimed at empowering people to love the best life possible with dementia, was recognised for its Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community A Codespace initiative won Edinburgh College the Partnership Award, while the Marketing/PR Campaign of the Year award went to the University of Stirling for its Recruiting the 12th Man project.

UHI Inverness was named as winner of the Widening Access Award for its LEEP Ahead scheme and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award went to City of Glasgow College for its Trans Liberation Work, with a commendation to New College Lanarkshire for its project, entitled The Braw Wee Shop.

Catherine Salmond, editor of The Herald, said: “It has been fantastic to bring so many people together to celebrate and congratulate, to inspire and reward. As a member of the judging panel, it was a wonderful feeling to read of the inspiring work taking place in our universities and colleges. There are so many people doing such brilliant work in Scotland, leading the way academically, but also impacting fellow colleagues and students on home soil through their talent and dedication.”

The awards shone a spotlight not just on the excellent work being undertaken by Scotland’s seats of Higher Education, but also on the level of commitment to student wellbeing, widening access to as many people as possible and to ensuring that these seats of learning are a force for good not just in society as a whole, but in the communities where they are situated.

The Herald Higher Education Awards will return in 2024, if your business or establishment would like to be involved, please get in touch with Stephen Laughlin, Senior Events Manager on


The Herald Higher Education Awards 2023 – They Said It

Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The 2023 Higher Education Awards ceremony was inspirational. It was also a fabulous celebration of everything that colleges and universities in Scotland have achieved in the past year. My congratulations to all the finalists and winners.  


Gordon Coyle, Managing Director, MDH Recruitment said: “MDH are thrilled to have been a sponsor at The Herald Scottish Higher Education Awards and witnessed the incredible achievements of the academic community. It is a privilege to be part of an event that celebrates the dedication, innovation, and excellence demonstrated by our esteemed educators and students. Congratulations to all the winners, and may your accomplishments inspire future generations to dream big. Thank you for making the world a better place through education.”


Isabelle Bristow, Managing Director UK and Europe, Studiosity said: “What a night, and what a warm and supportive crowd the Scottish HE sector is! This year I was honoured to be both a category sponsor, and a judge for all of the category award entries. Before the event, I had concerns that it would be difficult to pick just one winner from each category. These concerns were wholly founded for me and my fellow judges; creativity and innovation in abundance, inspirational advances and contributions to local communities, teaching, and research - a hearty congratulations to all winners. Studiosity’s mission is to improve life chances and wellbeing of students everywhere, it is therefore an honour to give a special mention to Queen Margaret University as the 2023 winners of the Supporting Student Wellbeing Award.


Jason Miles-Campbell, Director of Jisc Scotland, said: "Following a great evening celebrating the best of Scottish higher education, we would like to congratulate all those who triumphed in their categories, and especially the University of Dundee for winning the Jisc-sponsored award for innovative use of technology. The University of Dundee has shown how the use of virtual reality in forensic science can enhance international partnerships and improve accessibility and effectiveness in teaching and learning. Jisc is proud to sponsor this award and to celebrate and support digital transformation and innovation across the Scottish higher education sector.”