University of the Highlands: University of the Highlands and Islands rated highly by postgraduate students

The University of the Highlands and Islands has been rated as one of the top universities in the UK for postgraduate students. Student satisfaction with the university’s postgraduate programmes is significantly higher than the UK average according to a new sector-wide survey.

The university received a score of 87% student satisfaction in the 2021 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey. This is two percentage points higher than the university’s 2019 result of 85%. The result places the university sixth out of the 88 higher education institutions which took part in the survey.

Coordinated by Advance HE, the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey is a UK-wide measure of the experiences of students on taught postgraduate university programmes. It provides students with an opportunity to provide feedback on areas including learning and teaching, assessment and feedback, and organisation and management. Over 300 students from across the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership completed this year’s survey.

Dr Iain Morrison, Dean of Students, commented: “It is a source of great pride that our university has once again been rated as one of the best places in the UK to study a postgraduate course. Not only that, but we improved our student satisfaction scores during the most challenging year of our lives. Our students are at the heart of all we do and we combine academic excellence with vocational training and industry expertise to equip you with the skills employers are looking for.

“This university’s unwavering focus on the education and needs of our students is clearly appreciated by those undertaking postgraduate study for personal or professional growth. Coming on the back of our recent excellent undergraduate satisfaction scores, this once again confirms that the University of the Highlands and Islands is a great place to study.”

Flo Jansen, President of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, commented: “HISA is delighted to see the positive results of the postgraduate taught experience survey. It’s reassuring to hear that the majority of our students have felt prioritised over the past year and encouraging to know that our strong working relationship with the university has enabled us to support our students through the pandemic, while maintaining our standards of learning and teaching. Supporting our postgraduate community is an important aspect of our work and the opportunities for our local economies that come from our exciting programmes is immeasurable!

“The past year hasn’t been easy, but the bonds between our staff and students have undoubtedly benefited our approach and have helped us to identify challenges sooner rather than later. We could not be prouder of what they have achieved.”

To find out more about postgraduate courses at the University of the Highlands and Islands, visit

Case study

Mandy Dailly, (40) from Kinlochleven, graduated with a first-class honours degree in archaeology from West Highland College UHI in 2019 before progressing onto a MSc in archaeological practice at Orkney College UHI. She said:

“I graduated with first-class honours in archaeology in October 2019, by which time I had taken a huge leap of faith and moved my family to Orkney to undertake the MSc in archaeological practice. I’m close to finishing my dissertation and am on track for a distinction.

“Studying with this university was the best thing I’ve ever done. The online facilities, which make a wide variety of courses available to people in rural areas, allowed me to discover a subject I love and the fantastic staff supported me throughout. It gave me confidence in my own abilities and the opportunity to change the lives of our family undoubtedly for the better.

“I’d absolutely urge anyone thinking about studying to go for it.”