Researchers at The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) are asking for the views of the public into how best it can work with partners to extend and strengthen its activities across the islands.
The online survey is for islanders , public bodies, businesses and the voluntary sector in the three island authorities: Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles until 6 June 2022.
Describing the aims of the research project Iain Caimbeul, Research Fellow in Sociolinguistics at UHI said:
“We are keen to gather as wide a range of opinions as possible. Everyone’s views and insights are important to us, and this is very much a two-way conversation. We hope the research findings will help us to identify ways in which island communities will benefit from closer access to the university’s resources. The results will help to ensure UHI’s strategic approach aligns with the various challenges faced by island communities.”
It is part of a new research project underway to inform the development and implementation of the UHI Islands Strategy published in 2020 which sets out how UHI will work with partners to extend and strengthen its activities across the islands.
The UHI Strategy has 7 Key themes:
- Skills, workforce development, entrepreneurial support and talent attraction
- Producing a short course pan-islands prospectus offering provision in culture, heritage, archaeology and creative industries
- Profiling postgraduate online provision in culture, heritage, archaeology, marine sciences and creative industries
- Strengthening research activity in the islands
- Increasing pan-islands academic activity associated with University of the Highlands and Islands institutes, centres and departments
- Supporting our islands’ languages, including Gaelic language, island dialects and Nordic cultures
- Attracting new activity and people to the islands and to be based in the island
The research is funded through the Scottish Funding Council’s university innovation fund and will focus on language, heritage, archaeology, education, community development and the creative sector|arts. UHI researchers will also be conducting online focus groups to gather opinions.
Dr Beth Mouat, UHI Islands Strategy Director, said:
“This project presents an excellent opportunity for meaningful engagement with island residents. The findings from this research will be invaluable to guide the implementation of the UHI Islands Strategy and will inform future development that can have real impact in the islands.”
To take part in the survey visit https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/research-enterprise/cultural/institute-for-northern-studies/research/projects/islands-strategy/