Education Scotland has endorsed Inverness College UHI as one of the top performing colleges in Scotland

Education Scotland has endorsed Inverness College UHI as one of the top performing colleges in Scotland.

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The Scottish Government agency has rated Inverness College UHI ‘excellent’ and ‘very good’, taking into account outcomes for students, the quality of provision and services, and strength of leadership and approach to improvement.

Education Scotland published the 2017/18 Evaluative Reports and Enhancement Plans for colleges this week.

Inspectors agreed Inverness College UHI performs at a consistently high level across key performance indicators and provides a high quality learning experience for students.

Out of 27 colleges in Scotland, Inverness College UHI is one of only 5 colleges to receive an ‘excellent’ rating for leadership and approach to improvement, and ‘very good’ ratings for both student outcomes and the quality of provision and service.

At Inverness College UHI, student success rates on full-time further education programmes overall have improved for the 5th consecutive year, and at 71 per cent in 2017/18, were amongst the best in the country, performing well above the sector average of around 66 per cent. Success on part-time further education programmes overall were also high, at 86.8 per cent - nearly 9 percentage points above the national average.

Roddy Henry, Depute Principal – Planning and Student Experience at Inverness College UHI, said: “We continually review our practices to ensure a strong culture of improvement, which has a positive impact on the student experience. Our staff go the extra mile to help students throughout their studies and our students work really hard to gain their qualification. I am delighted to see this hard work recognised by Education Scotland as sector leading and we will continue to enhance what we do.”

Inverness College UHI concentrates its work on improving every aspect of the student journey – from the initial enquiry about a course through to application, induction and the overall learning and teaching experience, ensuring students have extra support if they require it.

The college gained Healthy University status in March 2018 and the Going Higher Award in April 2018 in recognition of its work, which sees support tailored to individual students’ needs, particularly for those with mental health challenges, student carers, and care experienced learners, improving their chances of success. The college is also working to support students from the most deprived backgrounds by engaging with schools and third-sector agencies to raise the aspirations of young people and to support applications from those furthest from education.

Curriculum planning ensures courses remain relevant, closely linked with industry, with a focus on employability and essential skills. Meanwhile, engagement with students has increased and Inverness College UHI has been working closely with sparqs (Student Partnership in Quality Scotland) to enhance its approach to evaluation.

All this work is supported by Inverness College UHI’s involvement in the Scottish Government-led College Improvement Project, focussing on the retention and attainment of students in the further education sector.

Inverness College UHI is one of the largest academic partners in the University of the Highlands and Islands and delivers 25 per cent of the region’s further education. In 2017/18, more than 5200 students were enrolled on further education programmes at Inverness College UHI, with more than 2500 students enrolled on higher education programmes.

The further education curriculum at Inverness College UHI covers nearly 30 subject areas and a range of qualifications, including Modern Apprenticeships and National Qualifications. The further education curriculum enables access to Higher National and Degree qualifications at Inverness College UHI and progression to employment.