Inverness will witness pomp and ceremony in August to celebrate the creation of the new University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
This historic event at Eden Court Theatre will be marked by the robing of the university’s first principal and vice-chancellor, James Fraser, and the presentation of the new mace, a gift from the universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Aberdeen.
The ceremony will be followed by an academic procession, headed by the Royal British Legion Scotland Inverness Pipes and Drums, to the Town House for a civic reception.
The festivities on Thursday, 25 August, will include a fly-past by RAF jets, a film showing UHI students, locations and activities across the partnership, formal speeches, poems, traditional music especially composed for the occasion, and a welcome to guests in Gaelic, Orcadian, Scots, English and Shetlandic by school children representing the region.
Guests from Scotland’s universities, local authorities, the Scottish Government, the university’s academic partners, the education sector and others who have made a significant contribution to the university’s creation, will attend the ceremonial part of the day. Free seats are also available to members of the public through the Eden Court box office.
Ceremonial robes featuring the UHI colour of purple will be formally presented to Mr Fraser; the chair of the governing University Court, Professor Matthew MacIver; rector Garry Coutts, and mace bearer for the day, Allan Bransbury who was assistant director of the former University of the Highlands and Islands Project.
Civic leaders from across the Highlands and Islands, representing the university’s campus areas, will greet the ensuing procession at the Town House. As it crosses the Ness Bridge in the town centre, Tornado jets will make a low level flypast in honour of Scotland’s newest university. This will be the climax of a flypast of all the campuses – a symbol of the collegiate nature of the university
James Fraser, UHI principal and vice-chancellor, said: “After centuries of migration out to universities in Scotland and across the world, the Highlands and Islands now have their own university for the first time. We are laying the foundation of an institution which will last for many hundreds of years and will transform the economic, cultural and social prospects of the people who live in this part of Scotland.”
UHI was granted university title by the Privy Council in February this year. It now has over 8000 students, located and studying throughout a partnership comprising: Argyll College UHI; Highland Theological College UHI, Dingwall; Inverness College UHI; Lews Castle College UHI, Lewis; Moray College UHI; NAFC Marine Centre UHI, Shetland; North Highland College UHI Thurso; Orkney College UHI; Perth College UHI; Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, Skye; Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI, Dunstaffnage; Shetland College UHI, and West Highland College UHI.
UHI media relations officer
Notes to editors
The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) covers the region, including Moray and Perthshire, in a partnership of 13 partner colleges and research institutions, and a network of over fifty outreach learning centres.
UHI gained full university status in February 2011, evolving from UHI Millennium Institute, which was a higher education institution
There are currently 8156 students studying on undergraduate and postgraduate courses or undertaking postgraduate research with UHI.
UHI is the only university with campuses and headquarters based in the Highlands and Islands. Its mission is to strengthen and develop the social, economic and cultural prospects of the region. It uses a blend of learning methods, including traditional classroom face-to-face teaching, video-conferencing tutorials and lectures and virtual learning environments and other IT media.
UHI is a limited company registered in Scotland No. 148203. Scottish charity No. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ