Letter to the editor of The Courier following comments calling for a university in the city of Perth

Dear Sir/Madam

We refer to your article in 8 April edition of The Courier where Pete Wishart MP, was calling for a university for Perth, which was followed up in today’s edition with a comment from Prince Honeysett, the HISA president at Perth College UHI.

The city of Perth already has a university: Perth College UHI is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. Both the city and its students benefit greatly from this, with a locally based campus, supported by a regional university partnership with national and international reach.

Perth College UHI is the largest of 13 partner colleges and research institutions which form the University of the Highlands and Islands. Perth College UHI attracts students from all over the UK, Europe and internationally as part of the university.

It is a successful and thriving tertiary institution providing a wide range of  further education and higher education learning opportunities: from access courses to opportunities for study at postgraduate level, encompassing vocational and professional training and skills development opportunities. There is no other single institution like this in Scotland, where a student can complete an access course and leave with a PhD.

In the last five years, the number of university-level students studying at Perth College UHI has grown by over 10%, with 2,825 enrolled this academic year. Since 2013, 8,393 Perth College UHI students have graduated from the University of the Highlands and Islands with higher education awards including Higher National awards, degrees and postgraduate degrees.

In the last five years, the number of further education level students studying at Perth College UHI has remained static.  For those who study a recognised qualification, over 70% of those successfully achieve and over 80% enter into a positive destination.  We continue to outperform the sector as a whole.

The university partnership is already acting as a force for economic, social and cultural change across our region by connecting and collaborating with businesses, public and third sector partners and communities.

Perth College UHI is an active partner in community planning, contributing to reduced inequality, improved services, enhanced training and skills development and the promotion of sustainable economic growth.

We value the good relationships and cross-party support we receive from all politicians, who, like us, serve the unique region of the Highlands and Islands. I hope we can continue to rely on their support in the future as we continue to progress to being the university our region and the City of Perth deserves.

Yours faithfully

Dr Margaret Cook

Principal, Perth College UHI

Professor Clive Mulholland

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of the Highlands and Islands