UHI and SQA announce new pathways for learners with articulation agreement

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have announced the signing of a new articulation agreement which will allow learners who have completed SQA’s Higher National Certificates and Diplomas to seamlessly progress onto UHI degree programmes at advanced levels increasing accessibility to higher education and streamlining progression pathways.

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Students based at UHI Perth walking into campus in the spring

The agreement between UHI and SQA allows students who earn a SQA Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) to move to the second or third year of a related BA/BSc degree with honours at UHI.

Students with an SQA HNC who have earned 120 credits on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) can transfer those credits, receiving exemption for modules at year one, which grants access to year two of a UHI degree programme. Similarly, students with an SQA HND and 240 credits can receive exemption for modules at year two, accessing year three.

The agreement covers SQA’s next generation of Higher National qualifications, NextGen:HN, which have been designed to give learners the skills they need to thrive in the modern workplace. Currently there are twenty NextGen:HN courses being piloted in colleges and training providers across Scotland, covering a range of subjects including engineering and horticulture at UHI.

Speaking about the agreement, Valerie Innes, Head of Next Generation Qualifications and Standards at SQA, said: “This agreement represents a significant step forward, for both institutions, in our commitment to forming meaningful pathways for learners. By formalising this articulation pathway learners can embark on traditional or NextGen HN programmes, in the knowledge that they have articulation access to a respected Higher Education institution. We look forward to seeing this partnership grow.”

Professor Neil Simco, Deputy Principal Academic and Research at UHI, said: “We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with SQA, reinforcing our shared dedication to expanding access to degree-level education and offering more pathways for students to advance their studies."

“At UHI, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive university that integrates both further and higher education, offering adaptable and supported learning experiences across all educational levels, from access courses to degrees and beyond. Our institution currently facilitates seamless progression for students from across the UHI partnership and other colleges or educational institutions enrolled in HNC and HND programmes, enabling them to transition smoothly into the second or third year of our degree programmes and we are well-equipped to support more students transitioning with these new articulation pathways.

If you are a college student currently on an HNC or HND programme and would like to find out more about progression routes on to degree programmes at UHI, head over to their website: www.uhi.ac.uk/comingfromcollege