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UHI Student Development Fund re-opens again thanks to £60,000 business pledge

By Rachel Smart

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RES and UHI partner to empower next generation of students. Picture: Paul Campbell
RES and UHI partner to empower next generation of students. Picture: Paul Campbell

RES, a British business and the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, has partnered with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) to support a minimum of 60 students through their Student Development Fund.

Created with the aim of helping UHI’s students to further their personal development, the fund empowers them to gain new skills, raising their aspirations, whilst also helping to build their confidence.

It does this by providing financial support to students to overcome barriers to participate in learning opportunities and extra-curricular activities. RES has pledged a total of £60,000 to UHI’s Student Development Fund over the course of the next three years, providing the students of UHI with the best possible opportunity to maximise their talents and future careers.

The fund was closed last year due to a lack of funding for the first time since 2009.

As the renewables industry continues to grow, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, the industry will require talented individuals with transferrable skills, from a variety of diverse backgrounds to enter the workforce.

The growing industry will also support the wider regional economy and the jobs associated with it. The Student Development Fund, supported by RES, will therefore be open to all UHI students, studying any course, across all its campuses.

Graeme Kerr, development project manager at RES, said: “UHI serves an area and population at the very heart of the ever-growing renewable energy industry. This exciting and dynamic industry will not only provide direct jobs in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire, but will also support a wider network of in-direct jobs across the economy.

“We’re thrilled to support the Student Development Fund, helping to equip UHI students with the skills to maximise their talents and giving them the best chance to fulfil their potential, whichever career they decide to pursue.”

Alison Wilson, director of economic development and advancement at UHI, added: “RES’ partnership with UHI is a welcome collaboration with the private sector.

"We can’t thank RES enough for their support, as without it, we simply would not be able to provide the Student Development Fund. Last year, due to a lack of funding, we sadly had to close the fund for the first time since it was established back in 2009. We are delighted that we can now open it again, enabling our students to access unique learning experiences during their studies with UHI.

“This funding will ensure our students feel supported, encouraged, and motivated to succeed, and we hope it will inspire them to progress their future careers right here in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire.”

The Student Development Fund opens in February 2024 and the deadline for applications is April 30, 2024. A shortlisting process and award panel meeting will take place in May with successful applicants informed thereafter.

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