Thursday 14 03 2019
UWS welcomed the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science to its new Lanarkshire campus, to learn more about the University’s successes in widening access and the significant impact it is having on research and knowledge transfer in the UK and across the globe.
Richard Lochhead MSP was greeted by Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS, and met with a range of students and staff at the University’s new state-of-the-art Lanarkshire campus.
As well as receiving an overview from Professor Craig Mahoney on some of the University’s key recent developments and continued impact, the Minister toured the £110 million Lanarkshire facility, which opened its doors in September 2018.
The Minister was shown the campus’ innovative nursing and midwifery teaching facilities, which are the most modern in Scotland, as well as its environmental chamber - one of only two in the country and the only one in the West of Scotland - which replicates environmental extremes, such as temperature and altitude, enabling students to study and research the effects these elements have on the human body.
Professional athletes can also use the chamber to train ahead of intense sporting events and UWS recently had the honour of working with quadruple amputee, Corinne Hutton, as she trained for her Mount Kilimanjaro climb using the chamber to prepare.
Importantly, the visit also provided the opportunity for the Minister to find out more about the sector-leading approach UWS takes to widening participation ensuring that more people from disadvantaged backgrounds go to University and the positive outcomes they experience as a result.
In 2017/18, 29 per cent of Scottish Domiciled Undergraduate Entrants to UWS’ were from SIMD20 areas and 50.3 per cent were from SIMD40 areas;
The percentage of students continuing their studies after their first year at UWS has significantly increased in recent years;
UWS has exceeded its target for positive student outcomes three years ahead of schedule with 85.7 per cent of graduates securing professional employment or further study in 2016/17 against a target of 85 per cent by 2019/20.
The Minister also learned about the ground-breaking and globally-relevant research underway at UWS in areas including drone technology, artificial intelligence, thin films and sensors, 5g networking, arthritis and dementia care. He was told about the University’s ambition to continue to grow its reach and recognition across the world, which, in a first for Scotland, has seen UWS become an official training partner for China.
“It is great to see first-hand the actions the University of the West of Scotland are taking on widening access, and I commend them for their efforts in this regard."Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science
Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science, said: “It is great to see first-hand the actions the University of the West of Scotland are taking on widening access, and I commend them for their efforts in this regard.
“We want every person in Scotland to have an equal chance of success, no matter their background or circumstance and good progress is being made. The number of Scots winning a place at university is at a record high, as is the number of students attending university from the most deprived backgrounds. This is a testament to the Scottish Government’s commitments to maintaining free university education for students from all backgrounds.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “We were delighted to welcome Richard Lochhead MSP to our Lanarkshire campus today, showcasing the significant impact UWS is having both regionally, nationally and globally.
“UWS is the sector leader in widening participation and makes substantial contribution to ensuring Scotland delivers on its ambitions for equality in higher education."
“UWS is the sector leader in widening participation and makes substantial contribution to ensuring Scotland delivers on its ambitions for equality in higher education."UWS Principal Prof Craig Mahoney
“We are constantly innovating, both in our ground-breaking research and enterprise activity but also in our world-leading learning and teaching approaches. We were proud to display how this vision is embodied in our new Lanarkshire campus through the innovative and truly dynamic collaborative learning experience we are providing to our students.
“We discussed with the Minister our commitment to the support, retention, and successful outcomes of our students, and the priority we place on ensuring they all have the very best possible experience. We thank Mr Lochhead for taking time out of his schedule to visit our Lanarkshire campus and learn more about UWS and our ambitions.”