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The University of the Highlands and Islands

A Lasting Legacy from EU Structural Funds in the Region?

Linda Stewart

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is today one of Europe’s most innovative models of further and higher education and in its short life has been a game-changer to the economic and social development of the region. It operates through a dispersed partnership of 13 independent colleges and research institutions, covering a huge landmass and including some of the most remote and isolated communities in the European Union (EU). This paper traces the impact of EU Structural Funds on the institution over four programming periods and considers how the investment helped to create the region’s first and only university, overcoming the barriers of distance and sparsity of population faced by this beautiful, yet fragile corner of the EU – and leaving a real lasting legacy to the region.

Director of European and International Developemnt at the University of the Highlands and Islands. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect upon the institution for which she works.


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