Vicki Nairn has been appointed as vice-principal operations at the University of the Highlands and Islands and will lead on the design, development and service delivery of the university's professional services which support both the academic and corporate areas, and the management of strategic change programmes.

Vicki Nairn joins from Robert Gordon University where she is currently vice principal corporate operations, leading the development, delivery and implementation of corporate, financial, commercial and resource strategies.

Professor Todd Walker, principal and vice-chancellor, was delighted to appoint this second vice-principal to his senior executive team: "It is a privilege, as a vice-chancellor, to welcome a second new vice-principal to our senior team during the course of only one week.

"Vicki Nairn brings significant experience to this new role. She knows our partnership and operating area well, having served as an independent member of the university court and having spent 11 years as a member of the leadership team at the Highland Council. Vicki has also been appointed by the Scottish Government to the board of NHS Education for Scotland, which designs and delivers education and training for our NHS. She is an experienced public sector leader, delivering award winning and innovative outcomes in large and complex organisations.

"Vicki will work with the rest of our senior team to lead our ‘daring to be different' ethos, harness our energy and set new ambitions to bring values of public service, integrity and a commitment to the transformative power of education."

Vicki Nairn lives in the Black Isle and is looking forward to starting in the new year: "I am honoured to have been chosen to join the university and am looking forward to working with colleagues across the university partnership to deliver the new ‘Daring to be different' strategic plan.

"I have lived and worked across the north of Scotland for many years. So, I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with new colleagues, partners, stakeholders, business and communities to harness and enhance the amazing and transformational potential we have in our region.

Vicki Nairn will take up her post in February 2022.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Module Leader Child & Adolescent Mental Health Hereward Proops shares his story.

see full size image

Hereward Proops is a LCC UHI lecturer who teaches on a variety of courses including our CPD Award in Child & Adolescent Mental Health 

We all know about the benefits of healthy living. From an early age, we are taught about the importance of exercise, a balanced diet and good hygiene. We know that if we look after our bodies, we reduce the risk of illness and we feel better in ourselves. People are not threatened by the word “health” and most people are willing to talk about it. However, place the word “mental” in front of it, and people may be much less willing to open up and share their experiences. 

Perhaps the word “mental” has negative connotations. As a child, I recall myself and my contemporaries using it as an adjective to describe something that was unreasoning, unreasonable, out-of-control or just plain crazy. Nobody wants to be seen as “mental” and this stigma is perhaps what is making it so difficult to engage in sensible, open discussion about “mental health”.

The reality is, mental health affects every single one of us. The word “mental” simply refers to aspects or functions of the mind. Very few people would claim that they don’t have a mind, so why should we feel unable to discuss it? 


see full size image

“As soon as I started that course I knew it was the right field for me,” explains Ealasaid Nicleòid, aged 27, who is currently in her 4th year of a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering at Lews Castle College UHI.

For years women have been underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) university courses and careers. This is a trend that is starting to change though. According the recent UCAS data, 35% of STEM students in higher education in the UK are women.

Lews Castle College UHI are celebrating these figures with a 6 year on year growth in STEM enrolment and dedication projects to promote this continued growth.