HISA Statement On The Proposed Curriculum Cuts At UHI Moray

Find our follow up to the Statement we released on the 1st of March about the proposed cuts at UHI Moray.

On the morning of the 27th of February 2024, the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association – Your Students’ Association was contacted formally by UHI Moray about proposed changes at the College including the cutting or pausing of courses and plans for staff redundancies. Whilst these are currently only proposals, the changes are concerning for students, both those currently studying at UHI Moray and those for whom opportunities may be restricted in the future. 


You can find this statement from UHI Moray in your student email inbox.


Since the 27th of February, we have held an all-student meeting in March which covered this topic and have been working with affected students to put forward their concerns and worries to UHI and UHI Moray management and discuss further action. We have been particularly concerned at the lack of consultation or involvement of students in the development of the proposals and the lack of engagement with and information for students since the announcement. We have also been concerned about the potential impact on current students being able to complete their studies and how the practical elements of some courses will be handled in these proposals, as well as the potential impact on those who have accepted places to start their studies at UHI Moray in September 2024.  


Since the announcement, our staff on the ground in Moray have also been meeting with UHI Moray leadership and visiting classes to collect student views. We have also written to local MSPs to express concerns about the impact that these cuts will have on students, the local economy and the Moray Growth Deal.


We are delighted to announce that following this action, it has been confirmed that the Fine Arts provision at Moray will be maintained in 24/25. We will be keeping up the campaigning on behalf of students on other programmes and Fine Arts beyond 24/25.


We will be holding another All-Student Meeting on 24th April at 1pm. This meeting will focus on other topics but will cover the latest position as we have it.  


As Your Students’ Association there are a variety of things that we can do to support you during this time including: 


  • Continue to bring concerns directly to UHI Moray Senior Management Team, UHI Executive

Office and the Vice-Chancellor office, local and regional politicians. This includes us writing to them, meeting with them and lobbying them.  

  • Engaging with the National Union of Students Scotland to get advice on potential protests and looking at other institutions and Students’ Union to see how they have worked during potential cuts.  
  • Speaking to National and Local media about the potential cuts and getting coverage so the wider public understands the potential implications.  

As students, there are some things that you can do that will allow us to support you: 

  • Speak to us! If you engage with us and tell us about your issues, we will be able to take them forward. 
  • Make your peers aware about the situation as the more students who are knowledgeable about the potential cuts, the louder the student voice is.  
  • Write to your MSP and Councillors as the more constituents that write the more pressure they will face. (Find our template letter here!)


We are delighted at the news for Fine Arts students. But these wider potential cuts will have a massive effect on the student experience within the UHI region and anything that affects the student experience. As Your Students’ Association we will fight for the continuation of your studies as it is important that we continue to ensure that people within the Highlands, Islands, Perthshire and Morayshire have essential tertiary education. 


The Highlands and Islands Students’ Association President William Campbell and Vice President Gary Souter commented on the developing situation at UHI Moray:


“We are deeply disheartened and dismayed by the prospect of UHI Moray considering cuts to essential provisions crucial for the local community. The lack of swift communication with us, the Highlands and Islands Students Association, and the student body is particularly troubling, given that students are among the primary stakeholders affected by any changes. As your Cross-Campus Officers our focus is on your learning experience where this will affect. 

These potential cuts stem from the Scottish Government's budget reductions totalling £100 million, which is truly devastating. As President and Vice-President of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, we implore the Government to reverse these cuts and enhance tertiary education funding across Scotland, especially in the UHI Region. Our students already face significant challenges in funding and access to equal opportunities, and further cuts exacerbate these disparities. 

We know the importance of UHI Moray and the positive impact it has on students, Gary himself being a former UHI Moray student know just how much of a positive impact UHI Moray has had over many years.  

Our message to the students of UHI Moray: we stand united, prepared to listen, and resolute in our determination to act. You deserve better. Let us rally together, for the future of UHI Moray, for the future of the community, and for the future of education in Scotland.” 


These proposed cuts show that the current model of funding that Universities and Colleges face in Scotland puts a massive strain on services that are provided in our local regions and local cuts will be the result of this. However, our top priority as Your Students’ Association is and will always be our members. During this whole process we will be taking all student feedback and holding UHI Moray to account for each decision they make. 


If you are concerned about these proposals, or the impact it may have on your studies, please contact us on hisa.moray@uhi.ac.uk. Our Advice Service can help with how the proposed changes might affect you regarding progression or complex concerns you might have about the matter. The service will assist you with submitting a complaint via UHI’s Complaints Handling Procedure if required. More information on the support provided can be found online: hisa.uhi.ac.uk/advice. 


Note: This article follows up on our most recent statement, released on March 1, 2024, which you can find here.