Economic seminars for Highlands and Islands

Charlotte Wright, chief executive of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Agency

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The University of the Highlands and Islands is launching an upcoming series of free public seminars to explore how key sectors can contribute to the recovery from Covid.

The online events are part of the university partnership’s 10th birthday celebrations and will feature a range of topics including the marine economy, education and health.

Named after the Gaelic word for ‘leading,’ the ‘A’ stiùireadh’ series begins on March 31.

Speakers in the communities and economy discussion will include Professor Todd Walker, the new University of the Highlands and Islands principal and vice-chancellor; along with James Fraser, the former principal and vice-chancellor of the university.

Professor Todd Walker, new principal of the Highlands and Islands University

Also joining the panel will be Charlotte Wright, chief executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Florence Jansen, president of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, and James Ellsmoor, an expert in island sustainability and the university’s alumnus for 2020.

The seminar programme runs until summer. Key seminars include ‘leading communities and economy’ which takes place between noon-1.15pm on Wednesday, March 31.

A seminar entitled ‘leading the blue economy,’ or the marine environment, takes place between 4pm- 5.15pm on Thursday, April 15.

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise agency is supporting the series with several staff members joining the panels.

Charlotte Wright, HIE’s chief executive, said: ‘In achieving successful economic recovery, the University of the Highlands and Islands has a crucial role in responding to new economic opportunities, providing an education and research offer linked to different industries and strengthening the region’s workforce and communities.

‘Our strategic partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands network has grown stronger every year and we very much look forward to working with them to make these webinars a success for our region’s businesses.’

Todd Walker, the university’s new principal and vice-chancellor, added: ‘The University of the Highlands and Islands partnership was created to have a transformational impact on the prospects of our region.

‘We aim to attract and nurture talent in our region, helping to reverse population decline and build innovation and socio-economic prosperity.

‘Along with colleagues in public, private and third sector organisations, we have a vital role to play in supporting our region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.’

To sign-up for the seminars, visit