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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 01:05 GMT 02:05 UK
University plan nets cash boost
Diabetes research. Picture courtesy of UHI
Researchers hope health sciences will attract significant funding
An institute behind plans to create a university in the Highlands and Islands will have access to funding worth up to 21m over the next seven years.

UHI said research in health sciences and sustainable energy will attract a large slice of the grant.

The funding will be available from the EU until 2013.

UHI had hoped to attain full university status in 2007, but was told by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education it needed stronger structure.

Scottish Enterprise Minister Jim Mather will announce the funding at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), near Oban, on Friday.

SAMS is one of the partners in the UHI network of colleges, research and learning centres across the region.

UHI BACKGROUND
UHI was granted higher education institution status in April 2001
An estimated 100m would be needed over 10 years to establish a university, according to principal Professor Bob Cormack
UHI is one of three partners involved with a new Highland Diabetes Institute based in Inverness

The funding will be sourced from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.

The funds will offer a combined total of 116m to the Highlands and Islands economy.

Linda Stewart, UHI head of external relations, said the region was the only European funding area in the UK which did not have a university within it.

She said: "This level of funding is very important in helping to create a lasting legacy for the region.

"UHI research work from our developing portfolio will enable local businesses to prosper and grow, sustaining communities and creating careers that will tempt young people to come to the area and stay in the area."

SEE ALSO
Highland uni project receives 5m
11 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
UHI principal in funding appeal
28 Mar 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Preferred college site identified
15 Nov 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Plans for new university delayed
23 Oct 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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