Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed the recommendation from the Quality Assurance Agency that the University of the Highlands and Islands be given degree awarding powers as a giant step forward for the region.
A long standing supporter of UHI Rob (who is also vice convenor of the education Committee in Holyrood) said:
"This is fantastic news and a giant step forward for the whole of the Highlands and Islands. I am certain that in time this decision from the QAA will be seen as a momentous turning point in the future of the Highlands and Islands. It is history making stuff."
"Great praise must go to Professor Cormack and his team and all those associated with UHI both past and present who have worked tirelessly to achieve this result."
"This news, coming at the same time as the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education record £27.4 million award to the University, makes it a case for double celebration for UHI."
Commenting on the fact that approval from the Scottish Government and Privy Council is needed to complete the process Mr Gibson said:
"I would imagine that this will be a mere formality on both parts. I can't see any problems from either side. However, should it not go through I would imagine that there'd be a small scale rebellion in the Highlands!"