Staff and students at Lews Castle College UHI are supporting the #LoveScotlandsColleges national campaign to highlight the importance and strength of Scotland’s colleges. 

The week-long campaign, which kicks off today, St Andrews Day, 30 November, will showcase and celebrate the outstanding work of colleges the length and breadth of Scotland.

Brainchild of the CDN Marketing and Communications Network, this collaborative campaign is supported right across the college sector. It will highlight national and local examples of how colleges are supporting students, communities, businesses, staff and the economy.

A new economic impact report reveals the economic contribution Lews Castle College UHI makes to the local economy – contributing £24 million and supporting 230 jobs throughout the Outer Hebrides.

The College has a total student body of 2,250 people across its further and higher education courses. The curriculum offering for students is at the heart of the College and it aims to meet the needs and expectations of both students and employers from the Butt to Barra.

With new plans for a campus redevelopment as part of The Islands Deal it is hoped that LCC UHI will further increase its role in the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposed redevelopment project will allow the College to deliver training in more flexible and innovative ways as well as meeting the learning needs of individuals, businesses, and communities.

The report, which was commissioned by the University partnership last year, has been produced by the independent consultancy, Biggar Economics. 

The findings also reveal that the partnership’s impact across Scotland has grown by between 20% and 25% since it was last measured in 2010, mainly due to an increase in staff and graduates. The partnership achieved full university status in 2011 and will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in February 2021. 

However, the authors highlight that the University’s value goes beyond its financial contribution, explaining: “The benefits of the university extend beyond the significant gross value added and jobs measures. It supports sustainable and inclusive economic wellbeing and social development in the broadest sense, for people, communities and employers across the region. It supports heritage and culture, the economy, the environment, the regional health sector and it offers pathways through tertiary education that give routes to personal and collective growth and development. 

Lews Castle College Principal Sue Macfarlane said: “This report clearly demonstrates the importance of Lews Castle College to the local economy and community, particularly at this very difficult time.  We fully intend to build on this success, working with our partners across the Western Isles as well as colleagues across the University, to ensure the College is at the centre of the economic recovery of the islands ”

The University of the Highlands and Islands’ economic impact assessment report is available in the publications section of the university’s website.  


An ‘exemplary’ student has been awarded the Student of the Year title  at Lews Castle College UHI as its Online Graduation Week Continues.

SVQ Electrical Installation student Andrew Horne’s work has been described by his lecturer as “exemplars for future students attending this course in our college.’

This week sees Lews Castle College UHI begin a week of online graduation celebrations. Sadly, due to Covid restrictions, graduation has not been able to take place but the College are continuing to do everything possible to help students celebrate.

Throughout the week the College will be celebrating the stories of some of the wonderful students who have been studying with Lews Castle College UHI. These stories will celebrate how students, with the support of the College, have overcome extremely difficult circumstances created by the global pandemic to continue to excel in their studies.

Of Andrew Horne, Richard Hemmings, Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, said “Andrew’s non-practical work has been completed to a very high standard, gaining 100% grades in all the work he submitted to date. During the Covid lockdown, Andrew and his colleagues had to complete as much work as they could on-line. This situation was particularly challenging as apprentice courses were never designed for on-line delivery. I am very pleased that they coped so well.”

Andrew has been serving his Apprenticeship with local company A Campbell Electrical Services. Company Secretary Rachel Campbell said: ‘ACES Ltd are delighted to hear of Andrew’s award which reflects his hard work and we are appreciative of the support he receives from Lews Castle College.

"We are sure Andrew will continue to progress through his next two years at College with the same work ethic and determination he has shown over the last 18 months. Over the last 18 years all of our Electrical Apprentices have enjoyed their training at Lews Castle College as part of their SECTT Apprenticeship scheme.’

(A name spelling has been corrected since this was first published. Apologies for the error.)