Heriot-Watt welcomes new opportunities for economic and skills development



Heriot-Watt University has welcomed the Scottish Government's announcement of the final report from the Enterprise and Skills Review, which will see the creation of a new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. The University is uniquely placed to help support the creation of the new agency and the wider enterprise and skills proposals thanks to its campuses based in Galashiels and on Orkney, as well as its renowned international reach and its long history of industry collaboration.

As one of the top UK universities for business and industry collaborations, Heriot-Watt welcomes the new Enterprise and Skills review outcomes, which set out ambitious plans for integrated business support and closer working between the higher education and further education sectors. The University supports a wide range of industry partnerships and its world-class research capability and access to specialist scientific equipment make the University ideally positioned to support the delivery of the Enterprise and Skills review. 

We would welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Scottish Government as they begin the implementation phase of the review.

Professor Richard A Williams

Recent examples of industry research projects include CyberBuild, a collaborative research laboratory to develop technologies that deliver more efficient and effective design, construction and management of built environment assets. The University also has very strong links with local businesses, including a Strategic Alliance between Heriot-Watt and Renishaw, a company based at the University's Research Park which currently support 35 businesses which together create in the region of 1,000 jobs, a major contributor to the local economy. The Research Park is also home to a number of spin out companies, many of which have benefited from participating in Converge Challenge which the University hosts, aimed at creating a new generation of entrepreneurs in Scotland.

Heriot-Watt's position as an integrated global university with campus sites in Malaysia and Dubai, and the University's reputation as Scotland's most international university, mean it is ideally placed to make a distinctive contribution to the Scottish Government's aspirations for developing international economic links. The University has a proven ability to act as a local anchor with international reach.

Heriot-Watt University supports the Scottish Government's vision for a learning system which enables efficient and effective learner journeys for all. In particular, the University is committed to developing informed decision-making by learners, straightforward and seamless connections between different parts of the learning system, accessibility to all its programmes of study and a commitment to quality and value in its provision.

Heriot-Watt University, through its SCHOLAR Programme, offers curriculum support throughout Scotland for those studying National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications. The University enjoys exceptionally strong relationships with partner colleges, with well-tuned articulation routes into degree programmes. The proportion of degree programme entrants from Colleges with the ‘gold standard' of Advanced Standing is exceptional within the University's benchmark group.

The University's pioneering work in distance learning through the Edinburgh Business School shows a commitment to evolving within a changing marketplace. Heriot-Watt continues to explore and develop innovative ways to support the learner journey, engaging strongly with different forms of work-based learning, including Graduate Level apprenticeships.

Commenting on the Scottish Government announcement, Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt, said, "Heriot-Watt University welcomes the Scottish Government's Enterprise and Skills Review: Report on Phase 2. At Heriot-Watt we have a proven track record in developing our quality research into commercial opportunities and since 1971 have created 33 successful spin-outs. 

“Our staff and students' expertise and innovation reach across industries as diverse as robotics, petroleum engineering and textiles, in our Scottish, Dubai and Malaysian campuses. Heriot-Watt is proud to be the leading University in Scotland for impact and is home to the Watt Ventures programme and Scotland-wide Converge Challenge. 

“Heriot-Watt has a proven track-record in skills development from secondary to tertiary education. Our Scholar Programme supports all 32 Scottish Local Authorities in delivering the National Five, Higher and Advanced Higher school curricula.

“We would welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Scottish Government as they begin the implementation phase of the review."