Universities Scotland news

Current News entries
Updated: 4 days 21 hours ago

UK Government must listen to further evidence for reintroduction of post-study work visas so that Scotland can benefit from global talent

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 14:47
Universities Scotland has today (Thursday 28 January) called on the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt Hon David Mundell MP, to respond to further evidence for the reintroduction of post-study work visas for international students studying in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament's Devolution (Further Powers) Committee heard evidence on Thursday morning from two international graduates who benefited from the Fresh Talent Initiative, Maulin Buch and Mary Njoki. The Fresh Talent Initiative, which offered international graduates from Scotland's universities the opportunity to work in the country for two years after graduation before it was stopped by the UK Government in 2012, was an important factor in the decision to study in Scotland made by Maulin and Mary, originally from India and Kenya respectively. Both graduates believe a post-study work route should be reintroduced in Scotland, if the country is to continue to attract students from overseas.The Committee heard from the graduates that many of their younger peers, who are currently considering where to pursue their higher education, view the UK as ‘unwelcoming and hostile' and are more likely to look at countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand which have a better post-study work offer. Universities Scotland has today (Thursday 28 January) called on the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt Hon David Mundell MP, to respond to further evidence for the reintroduction of post-study work visas for international students studying in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament's Devolution (Further Powers) Committee heard evidence on Thursday morning from two international graduates who benefited from the Fresh Talent Initiative, Maulin Buch and Mary Njoki. The Fresh Talent Initiative, which offered international graduates from Scotland's universities the opportunity to work in the country for two years after graduation before it was stopped by the UK Government in 2012, was an important factor in the decision to study in Scotland made by Maulin and Mary, originally from India and Kenya respectively. Both graduates believe a post-study work route should be reintroduced in Scotland, if the country is to continue to attract students from overseas.The Committee heard from the graduates that many of their younger peers, who are currently considering where to pursue their higher education, view the UK as ‘unwelcoming and hostile' and are more likely to look at countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand which have a better post-study work offer.Mary used the Fresh Talent Initiative in 2009 after completing an MSc in Social Work at the University of Stirling and was able to secure a job with the City of Edinburgh Council. Mary started work at a time when the Council was desperately trying to recruit social workers and so helped to fill a skills gap in Scotland's capital. After graduating from the University of Glasgow, Maulin started work for a Scottish SME in North Lanarkshire after applying to a graduate programme through Talent Scotland. In his Business Development Executive role, Maulin has helped the company to tap into the important Indian market and grow its export business.The evidence heard by MSPs on the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee today follows the Secretary of State for Scotland's promise made on Monday to consider the evidence and recommendations that come from the UK Parliament's Scottish Affairs Committee's report on post-study work.The Committee also heard from Alan McKay, Deputy Vice-Principal International and Director of the International Office, Edinburgh University, who told MSPs that current post study employment options for international graduates in the UK are not sufficient to meet the needs of employers in Scotland.After the Committee meeting, Universities Scotland's Director, Alastair Sim said:"University leaders in Scotland urge the Secretary of State to pay attention to the concerns of talented international graduates like Maulin and Mary, who are telling us very clearly that their peers want to study in the UK but UK Government policy is putting them off. This means that Scotland's universities, society and economy are missing out on the benefits that come from attracting hard-working international talent. The UK Government needs to think again on this issue and stem the flow of international talent from Scotland to competitor nations."There is consensus across all of Scotland's main political parties in favour of the reintroduction of a post-study work visa for international graduates. Universities welcome the Secretary of State's commitment made on Monday to consider the reintroduction of post-study work in Scotland and are ready to work with both the UK and Scottish Governments to achieve a solution."NotesPapers for this morning's Devolution (Further Powers) Committee meeting on post-study work visas, including written evidence submissions from Universities Scotland and the University of Edinburgh, can be found here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Papers_20160128.pdf
Categories: Universities

Response to UK Government's Green Paper, Higher education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 14:30
Universities Scotland has responded to the consultation on the UK Government's Higher Education Green Paper, Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice. The response focuses on questions where there are particular implications for Scotland's higher education sector, including on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), provider exit and student protection, and reducing complexity and bureaucracy in research funding. Read Universities Scotland's Green Paper consultation response Universities Scotland has responded to the consultation on the UK Government's Higher Education Green Paper, Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice. The response focuses on questions where there are particular implications for Scotland's higher education sector, including on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), provider exit and student protection, and reducing complexity and bureaucracy in research funding. Read Universities Scotland's Green Paper consultation response
Categories: Universities

Briefing for Stage 1 debate on the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:07
Universities Scotland has prepared a briefing for MSPs for the Stage 1 debate on the Scottish Government's Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill. The debate will take place from 2.00pm on Thursday 14 January. The briefing notes the existing strengths in Scotland's system of higher education governance and calls for MSPs support to ensure the Scottish Government answers the Education and Culture Committee's 17 questions for clarity and further evidence; the removal of sections 8 and 13 of the Bill; and to ensure that any change to the role of Chair will actually improve good governance. Read Universities Scotland's briefing to MSPs Universities Scotland has prepared a briefing for MSPs for the Stage 1 debate on the Scottish Government's Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill. The debate will take place from 2.00pm on Thursday 14 January. The briefing notes the existing strengths in Scotland's system of higher education governance and calls for MSPs support to ensure the Scottish Government answers the Education and Culture Committee's 17 questions for clarity and further evidence; the removal of sections 8 and 13 of the Bill; and to ensure that any change to the role of Chair will actually improve good governance. Read Universities Scotland's briefing to MSPs
Categories: Universities

Universities Scotland comments on the Scottish Government's response to Committee's Stage 1 report on the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 11:06
Universities Scotland has commented today (12 January) following the publication of the Scottish Government's response to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 Report on the Higher education Governance (Scotland) Bill. A Universities Scotland spokersperson said:  “The Government’s response gives the strongest indication yet that it is minded to remove the sections of the Bill which we believed increased universities’ risk of a reclassification by ONS. A move to do so would be constructive and very welcome. We’re looking for the complete removal of section 8 and 13, rather than revisions, to give us the peace of mind we need on this. “The Government has responded to some other issues in the Education Committee’s long list of concerns raised during its scrutiny of the Bill. However some confusion and gaps in the evidence base still remain in important parts of the Bill, including whether the proposals on the selection process for the Chair will actually improve what has already been recognised by Government as good governance in our universities. We intend to keep working with the Scottish Government and other members of Parliament.” Universities Scotland has commented today (12 January) following the publication of the Scottish Government's response to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 Report on the Higher education Governance (Scotland) Bill. A Universities Scotland spokersperson said:  “The Government’s response gives the strongest indication yet that it is minded to remove the sections of the Bill which we believed increased universities’ risk of a reclassification by ONS. A move to do so would be constructive and very welcome. We’re looking for the complete removal of section 8 and 13, rather than revisions, to give us the peace of mind we need on this. “The Government has responded to some other issues in the Education Committee’s long list of concerns raised during its scrutiny of the Bill. However some confusion and gaps in the evidence base still remain in important parts of the Bill, including whether the proposals on the selection process for the Chair will actually improve what has already been recognised by Government as good governance in our universities. We intend to keep working with the Scottish Government and other members of Parliament.”  Notes You can read the Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 report, and the Scottish Government's response, in full here: www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/90785.aspxMSPs will debate the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 this Thursday, 14 January from 2.00 pm in the Scottish Parliament.
Categories: Universities

Universities Scotland comments on the Scottish Government's response to Committee's Stage 1 report on the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 11:06
Universities Scotland has commented today (12 January) following the publication of the Scottish Government's response to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 Report on the Higher education Governance (Scotland) Bill. A Universities Scotland spokersperson said:  “The Government’s response gives the strongest indication yet that it is minded to remove the sections of the Bill which we believed increased universities’ risk of a reclassification by ONS. A move to do so would be constructive and very welcome. We’re looking for the complete removal of section 8 and 13, rather than revisions, to give us the peace of mind we need on this. “The Government has responded to some other issues in the Education Committee’s long list of concerns raised during its scrutiny of the Bill. However some confusion and gaps in the evidence base still remain in important parts of the Bill, including whether the proposals on the selection process for the Chair will actually improve what has already been recognised by Government as good governance in our universities. We intend to keep working with the Scottish Government and other members of Parliament.”  Notes You can read the Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 report, and the Scottish Government's response, in full here: www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/90785.aspx Universities Scotland has commented today (12 January) following the publication of the Scottish Government's response to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 Report on the Higher education Governance (Scotland) Bill. A Universities Scotland spokersperson said:  “The Government’s response gives the strongest indication yet that it is minded to remove the sections of the Bill which we believed increased universities’ risk of a reclassification by ONS. A move to do so would be constructive and very welcome. We’re looking for the complete removal of section 8 and 13, rather than revisions, to give us the peace of mind we need on this. “The Government has responded to some other issues in the Education Committee’s long list of concerns raised during its scrutiny of the Bill. However some confusion and gaps in the evidence base still remain in important parts of the Bill, including whether the proposals on the selection process for the Chair will actually improve what has already been recognised by Government as good governance in our universities. We intend to keep working with the Scottish Government and other members of Parliament.”  Notes You can read the Education and Culture Committee's Stage 1 report, and the Scottish Government's response, in full here: www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/90785.aspx
Categories: Universities

Briefing for Scottish Government debate on Delivering a World-Class Education System

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:23
Universities Scotland provided MSPs with a short briefing paper ahead of a Scottish Government debate on Delivering a World-Class Education System on Tuesday 12 January. The briefing highlights how Scotland's higher education institutions perform exceptionally well on the world stage in their teaching and research; the sector's commitment to continuous improvement in all that we do; and how the sector is working proactively with other education partners to benefit learners. Read Universities Scotland's briefing paper Universities Scotland provided MSPs with a short briefing paper ahead of a Scottish Government debate on Delivering a World-Class Education System on Tuesday 12 January. The briefing highlights how Scotland's higher education institutions perform exceptionally well on the world stage in their teaching and research; the sector's commitment to continuous improvement in all that we do; and how the sector is working proactively with other education partners to benefit learners. Read Universities Scotland's briefing paper
Categories: Universities

Universities Scotland ready to work with Scottish Government to support more Scottish students into postgraduate study opportunities

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 16:17
Universities Scotland has today [Monday 21 December] welcomed the publication of the Taught Postgraduate Study Working Group’s report. The report is clear that increased postgraduate-level study by Scottish-domiciled students will help drive the creation of a high-skill economy and well as enhancing individuals’ opportunities. However, participation by Scottish-domiciled students has flatlined in recent years, for reasons explored in the report. The recommendations made by the Working Group, if implemented, will create improved opportunities for Scottish students to enter postgraduate level study, for students from diverse backgrounds. Universities Scotland has today [Monday 21 December] welcomed the publication of the Taught Postgraduate Study Working Group’s report. The report is clear that increased postgraduate-level study by Scottish-domiciled students will help drive the creation of a high-skill economy and well as enhancing individuals’ opportunities. However, participation by Scottish-domiciled students has flatlined in recent years, for reasons explored in the report. The recommendations made by the Working Group, if implemented, will create improved opportunities for Scottish students to enter postgraduate level study, for students from diverse backgrounds. The Working Group recommends the introduction of a clear and universal entitlement to student loan support for Scottish-domiciled students undertaking postgraduate study. This is particularly welcome as the sector had previously called for postgraduate loan support to widen access and the increase the take up of postgraduate opportunities by Scots. The Working Group,  chaired by Professor Bryan MacGregor, Vice Principal and Head of the College of Physical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, has identified a number of options to increase and widen participation in postgraduate level study, including: Incentives to undertake postgraduate study including changes to funding supportImproved online course informationGreater focus on wider access to underrepresented groups based on age, gender and socio-economic backgroundCloser engagement between industry and universities The Principals of all 19 Scottish universities are committed to widening access to higher education opportunities for all learners with the ability to succeed at undergraduate and postgraduate level study.  The report’s recommendations should help ensure wide access to postgraduate study to learners from challenged socio-economic backgrounds. Universities Scotland’s Director, Alastair Sim said: “A ‘Can Do’ Scotland needs people who are developing their skills to the highest levels possible. Today’s report makes important recommendations for how we can support more people, from diverse backgrounds, to fulfil their potential at postgraduate level. This is important for individuals, and for our growth as a high-skill economy. “Universities Scotland looks forward to working closely with Scottish Government early in the New Year to build and implement new ways of promoting taught postgraduate study. We want postgraduate level study to be within the grasp of all successful graduates with the potential to benefit, no matter their financial circumstances.”NOTESThe Working Group’s Final Report published on 21 December 2015 can be read here: www.gov.scot/Resource/0049/00491243.pdfThe Scottish Government’s press release with comment from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, and the Working Group’s Chair, Professor Bryan MacGregor can be read here: news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Options-for-postgraduate-support-208b.aspxThe Working Group was made up of representatives from Universities Scotland, the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), the Scottish Funding Council, the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland and the University and College Union (UCU) Scotland.The Working Group’s analysis has confirmed that between 2004-05 and 2013-14 there was a 2% decline in the number of Scottish-domiciled students enrolled in taught postgraduate study at Scottish higher education institutions, which means that enrolments fell by 250 students. In the same period, there has been increased demand from international students for postgraduate level study with non-EU students accounting for 29% of postgraduate students in Scotland in 2013-14 compared to 21% in 2004-05.The Working Group’s report notes that when Teaching-related CPD courses and PGDE enrolments are excluded from the data, between academic years 2004-05 and 2013-14, a much smaller decline of 2% (250 students) is observed in the number of Scottish-domiciled taught postgraduate enrolments. Including these courses means that has been 10% decline in student enrolments over the period, or 2,230 students.
Categories: Universities

Scotland’s Universities: International Audience Overview

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 14:55
This overview publication invites academics, businesses and students to consider Scotland as a destination of higher education excellence. With a foreword from First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, this package provides a summary card for each of Scotland’s 19 world-class higher education institutions detailing their colleges and focus, international partnerships and research strengths. Contact details for each institution are also provided. Download Scotland’s Universities: International Audience Overview This overview publication invites academics, businesses and students to consider Scotland as a destination of higher education excellence. With a foreword from First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, this package provides a summary card for each of Scotland’s 19 world-class higher education institutions detailing their colleges and focus, international partnerships and research strengths. Contact details for each institution are also provided. Download Scotland’s Universities: International Audience Overview
Categories: Universities

Universities Scotland responds to the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2016-17

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 15:30
Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2016-17, Universities Scotland's Convener, Professor Sir Pete Downes, said: “The Scottish Budget proposes what we recognise as a good outcome in a time of severe financial challenges. "We respect the approach the Deputy First Minister has taken with us, which has been to work through the financial challenges faced by the Scottish Government and how best to manage them. We welcome the commitments expressed by Scottish Government to continuing support for an excellent, internationally competitive and widely accessible university sector. "We are strongly committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for Scotland with the resources proposed in this budget, and to working constructively with the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to maximise these outcomes. This will be a shared endeavour, matching universities’ commitment to excellence and the common good with government’s support to enable us to achieve that.” Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2016-17, Universities Scotland's Convener, Professor Sir Pete Downes, said:  “The Scottish Budget proposes what we recognise as a good outcome in a time of severe financial challenges. "We respect the approach the Deputy First Minister has taken with us, which has been to work through the financial challenges faced by the Scottish Government and how best to manage them. We welcome the commitments expressed by Scottish Government to continuing support for an excellent, internationally competitive and widely accessible university sector. "We are strongly committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for Scotland with the resources proposed in this budget, and to working constructively with the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to maximise these outcomes. This will be a shared endeavour, matching universities’ commitment to excellence and the common good with government’s support to enable us to achieve that.” Notes  The Scottish Government's publication, Scotland's Spending Plans and Draft Budget 2016-17, can be read here.The Deputy First Minister's budget statement to the Scottish Parliament can be read here. 
Categories: Universities

Universities Scotland: Innovation Action Plan

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 08:00
Universities Scotland is an enthusiastic supporter of the Scottish Government's ambition that Scotland should become a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovation nation. Universities are keen to play their role in this agenda as fully as possible and recognise that there is a need to enhance their innovation strategy and operations on an ongoing basis. Working collaboratively, universities have developed a set of actions - a five point plan - of additional things the sector can do in partnership with business and support agencies. Read the Universities Scotland Innovation Action Plan Universities Scotland is an enthusiastic supporter of the Scottish Government's ambition that Scotland should become a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovation nation. Universities are keen to play their role in this agenda as fully as possible and recognise that there is a need to enhance their innovation strategy and operations on an ongoing basis. Working collaboratively, universities have developed a set of actions - a five point plan - of additional things the sector can do in partnership with business and support agencies. Read the Universities Scotland Innovation Action Plan
Categories: Universities

Universities Scotland welcomes interim report from the Commission on Widening Access

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 17:11
Universities Scotland welcomed the interim report from the Commission on Widening Access, as published today [Thursday, 12 November], and repeated its support for the Commission's creative and joined-up approach to a challenge that spans all parts of our education system and society.Responding to the interim publication, Professor Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal at the University of Dundee said:"University Principals share the Commission's commitment to further improvement in access to higher education from underrepresented groups. We are encouraged by the direction of the Commission's work based on the interim report. Universities Scotland welcomed the interim report from the Commission on Widening Access, as published today [Thursday, 12 November], and repeated its support for the Commission's creative and joined-up approach to a challenge that spans all parts of our education system and society.Responding to the interim publication, Professor Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal at the University of Dundee said:"University Principals share the Commission's commitment to further improvement in access to higher education from underrepresented groups. We are encouraged by the direction of the Commission's work based on the interim report."Launching the Commission was a bold and exciting step for Scotland because it is the first attempt to take a genuinely joined-up approach to widening access. It acknowledges that the challenges, and therefore the solutions, sit in more than one part of Scottish society and spans the full range of education sectors. The Commission's clear call for joined-up work on access and its recognition that we need to include a wide set of measures of socioeconomic disadvantage, so that no-one is left behind, are the very values that we have been talking about to the Commission."We accept there is more work to do and we expect to be challenged by the Commission over the coming months as it reaches its final recommendations. However, we are encouraged that the interim report recognises that there is lots of good practice in the sector and that progress on widening access is already being made. The partnership approach, which has been central to the Commission so far, will also be crucial to its success in achieving new levels of widening access."In reference to the Commission's consideration of contextual admissions, a Universities Scotland spokesperson added: "Scotland's universities consider applications based on the applicant's talent, ability and potential. Potential is important because university is about intellectual and personal growth. There is hard evidence to show that not every person has had a level playing field on which to demonstrate their potential by the time they apply to university. Contextual admissions can help with this and it is one of many tools, but definitely not a silver bullet, that universities can use to help widen access. Universities will always be looking for the best and brightest applicants - our quality and excellence is very important to us and absolutely will not be compromised - but we are open-minded about what best and brightest actually means."NOTESThe Commission has had the full support of university leaders from the outset. Professor Petra Wend and Professor Anton Muscatelli, respectively Principals of Queen Margaret University Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, are Commissioners. Universities Scotland has contributed written and oral evidence to the Commission as have its member universities.
Categories: Universities

Making it Happen: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 08:00
In November 2015 every higher education institution in Scotland agreed a shared commitment and set of actions to do more on enterprise and entrepreneurship. Making it Happen sets out that shared commitment and set of cross-sector actions alongside case studies and facts which show how Scotland's higher education sector is fulfilling each of the three roles it has to play in making Scotland a world-leading entrepreneurial and enterprising nation. Read Making it Happen In November 2015 every higher education institution in Scotland agreed a shared commitment and set of actions to do more on enterprise and entrepreneurship. Making it Happen sets out that shared commitment and set of cross-sector actions alongside case studies and facts which show how Scotland's higher education sector is fulfilling each of the three roles it has to play in making Scotland a world-leading entrepreneurial and enterprising nation. Read Making it Happen
Categories: Universities

Universities take a Can Do approach to entrepreneurship

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 08:00
Universities launched a new cross-sector commitment and action plan today [Tuesday, 10th November] intended to increase both the scale and impact of their contribution to enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.Making it Happen, sees all 19 higher education institutions come together to agree a commitment and set of eight actions that intend to grow the number of student start-ups and staff spin-out companies. A number of collaborative actions aim to embed enterprise deeper within the culture and curricula of universities and increase the level of entrepreneurship support that universities can offer students. The commitment and actions made in Making it Happen come as Scottish higher education has driven a surge in student entrepreneurialism in recent years: the number of graduate start-ups has increased by 14 per cent in the last three years;there has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of self-employed and freelancing graduates in the same period; and,the numbers of students taking part in enterprise programmes and competitions has grown by hundreds. Universities launched a new cross-sector commitment and action plan today [Tuesday, 10th November] intended to increase both the scale and impact of their contribution to enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.Making it Happen, sees all 19 higher education institutions come together to agree a commitment and set of eight actions that intend to grow the number of student start-ups and staff spin-out companies. A number of collaborative actions aim to embed enterprise deeper within the culture and curricula of universities and increase the level of entrepreneurship support that universities can offer students. The commitment and actions made in Making it Happen come as Scottish higher education has driven a surge in student entrepreneurialism in recent years: the number of graduate start-ups has increased by 14 per cent in the last three years;there has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of self-employed and freelancing graduates in the same period; and,the numbers of students taking part in enterprise programmes and competitions has grown by hundreds.A recent study into entrepreneurial attitudes in Scotland in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that only 5.8 per cent of Scots intend to start their own business in the next three years. However, education can have a big impact. The same study found that people who get education in school on how to start a business are more likely to want to do so whilst those who get that training after their school years are more likely to act on it. Higher education can play a powerful role in supporting students and staff to overcome the ‘confidence gap' that prevents too many people at present from taking the leap into running their own venture.This agenda ties in closely with the Scottish Government's strategy Scotland Can Do which looks to make Scotland a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation. The Government's strategy identifies several roles for universities in both education and innovating with business.Making it Happen focuses on the role universities have developing and supporting students, graduates and staff to become enterprising and entrepreneurial. This includes equipping graduates to have the mind-set to be intra-preneurial in the roles they take up in companies and organisations.Making it Happen complements Universities Scotland's five-point plan on innovation published earlier in 2015 which concentrates on engagement between universities and business.Commenting on the role of students and graduates as entrepreneurs, Professor Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland, said:"Of the many different contributions that universities make to the Scottish economy, the single biggest and potentially the most transformative is through our graduates. Scotland's universities are keen to produce graduates with an entrepreneurial approach and can do attitude to all they take on, whether that is starting their own venture or adding value to someone else's. This is not just about universities introducing concepts of entrepreneurism into our teaching but requires students to be exposed to universities that are themselves entrepreneurial in all they do."I believe that our future economy, and the creation of more jobs, will be driven by new industries that are yet to be established. Graduates will have a big role to play in their emergence and growth into industries of scale. A culture of entrepreneurship has taken hold in our universities and we are keen to do all we can to continue to build on this momentum. Universities have come together to make a commitment to entrepreneurship and agree a set of actions including collaborating together, and with others, where this will support our students, graduates and staff who are keen to be part of this exciting agenda."Recent studies in Scotland have shown that as a nation we suffer from a confidence gap when it comes to starting a business but education can make a big difference to attitudes and to help get people past that into business start-ups. As universities, we're saying we're here to help make it happen."Christopher McCann is a medical student at the University of Dundee. He founded his company, Snap40, whilst still at University. Snap40 is a wearable technology wristband that monitor patient information one hundred times a second and can detect very early-stage deterioration in the condition of patients. Snap40 aims to save lives, reduce unnecessary hospitalisations and lead to earlier patient discharges. Christopher is one of a fast-growing number of university students to mix the knowledge and inspiration from time spent in higher education with the support and advice that universities can offer as a springboard into entrepreneurship.Christopher McCann said:"There's a lot of talk about whether or not people should go to university or straight into setting up their business, but to me the two aren't mutually exclusive. I wouldn't have come across the idea for the wristband if I hadn't been studying medicine. University is a great way of getting ideas, skills and experience."What's been most helpful has been the support from Dundee. Staff have been really positive and allowed me to be flexible with my time." Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:“The commitment by Scottish Universities to ‘Making it Happen’ ambitiously answers the challenge of Scotland CAN DO – the national platform towards becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation. Our universities have a crucial role to play in driving this ambition by making our young people aware of their entrepreneurial potential.“It is important that we continue to encourage our students’ ambition and nurture their potential to start their own businesses. According to the 2015 Spinouts UK report, Scotland continues to punch above its weight with 20% of all successful university spinouts in the UK.”NotesYou can read Making It Happen here. 
Categories: Universities

New website on its way at Universities Scotland with new opportunities to be open about how we work

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 13:53
Late next month we plan to go live on our new website. After seven years (seven years!) with our existing one we're pretty excited and have been pleased to work with Stance to develop it. The new site gives us the opportunity to do things differently including scope for a lot more content. We intend to share more up-to-date information about Scotland's higher education sector and how we work as an organisation.We're going to take the opportunity the new site gives us to be open about the way we work with the Scottish Parliament to campaign on funding and policy issues on behalf of our 19 member institutions. We know the Scottish Government's Lobbying Bill will soon require a public register of lobbying activity. Whilst we don't yet know exactly what shape the Bill, or the register, will take we see it as a welcome opportunity to ensure continued professionalism, integrity and high standards in lobbying in Scotland. It's very likely to have our support when it comes into place but as it is still months away from being passed, and the site will be live next month, we don't see a reason to wait to be transparent about the way we work. Late next month we plan to go live on our new website. After seven years (seven years!) with our existing one we're pretty excited and have been pleased to work with Stance to develop it. The new site gives us the opportunity to do things differently including scope for a lot more content. We intend to share more up-to-date information about Scotland's higher education sector and how we work as an organisation.We're going to take the opportunity the new site gives us to be open about the way we work with the Scottish Parliament to campaign on funding and policy issues on behalf of our 19 member institutions. We know the Scottish Government's Lobbying Bill will soon require a public register of lobbying activity. Whilst we don't yet know exactly what shape the Bill, or the register, will take we see it as a welcome opportunity to ensure continued professionalism, integrity and high standards in lobbying in Scotland. It's very likely to have our support when it comes into place but as it is still months away from being passed, and the site will be live next month, we don't see a reason to wait to be transparent about the way we work.One of the things we're spending a lot of time on as an organisation at the moment is the HE Governance Bill. We have a number of concerns about the Bill which we have conveyed to Government and to Parliament through written and oral evidence and in meetings with politicians. As a key stakeholder, we were pleased to be asked to give oral evidence to the Finance Committee and to the Education Committee, where we appeared alongside other key stakeholders and other organisations. We have had individual meetings with the members of the Education Committee, the lead Committee on the Bill. We believe it is important that MSPs hear our concerns direct from us, not second-hand in the press, with someone else's choice of emphasis. It's been a busy time for our small public affairs team, so we've sought some assistance from communications consultancy Charlotte Street Partners. We've had three days of their time to help our members with preparation for a Parliamentary appearance. We haven't asked Charlotte Street to arrange any meetings on our behalf. It's been a useful experiment, and we'll reflect on whether to repeat it.The Scottish Parliament's Standards Committee acknowledges that lobbying is a legitimate and valuable activity. It allows Parliament to take forward legislation and develop policy informed by the views of those it will affect and so contributes to a healthy democracy. In the case of the HE Governance Bill Universities Scotland works on behalf of one of the important stakeholder groups. We are proud to do so with evidence-based integrity, as part of an informed debate on important proposals. We look forward to continued constructive engagement with the Parliament on the HE Governance Bill and a range of other equally important issues. We will note the details of the meetings we have with politicians on the new website and we look forward to sharing that new site with you in a month or so.
Categories: Universities

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