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A University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Masters student has landed a prestigious national innovation award.

Quality Management student William Brownlie, from Motherwell, was among 59 Scottish students to receive the highest level of the Scottish Innovative Students Award (SISA) programme in the 2019-20 academic year. William was awarded the SISA Level 3 award as part of an online event, giving him the title of SISA Innovation Champion.

The programme helps students develop their innovation and enterprise skills, problem solving and ability to communicate well, helping them to stand out in the graduate recruitment market. It consists of three levels – Future Thinkers, Innovation Catalysts and Innovation Champions – which see students participate in workshops and undertake written work to receive their certificate.

William said: “As a mature student, I’m trying to engage in as much of the University as possible in addition to my course – SISA felt like a good opportunity."

“It was a positive experience. Through the three different levels, and working with students from other disciplines and universities, I’ve learned about how other people think and understand what other people are trying to say.”
William Brownlie, UWS Quality Management student

SISA is an annual programme for students run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise which challenges participants to develop their innovation skills and issues certificates for each stage completed. The programme runs in partnership with four of Scotland’s Innovation Centres (Digital Health and Care Institute, CENSIS, the Datalab and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre).

Dr Evi Viza, Quality Management Programme Leader at UWS, said: “William’s success showcases what UWS students can achieve. The diversity of our students and their determination to strive for continuous personal and professional development is what makes the learning experience of any course stand out.

“William is a true ambassador for the Engineering Division of UWS, having graduated with an undergraduate degree in Engineering Management before undertaking the MSc Quality Management. We are immensely proud of him and his recent success.”

Fiona Godsman, Chief Executive of SIE, said: “The students, and their universities, should be very proud of the hard work it has taken to reach the highest level of the SISA programme, and this is just the beginning for our new Innovation Champions. With their experience of tackling the UN SDGs, recognising their importance and the interconnectedness of global issues, they can take their new skills and ideas out to the wider world and act as a positive force for good. We look forward to seeing the impact they will have.”