Scots flag up links

December 14, 2001

Universities Scotland is spotlighting the ways in which higher education institutions work together, arguing that Scotland is the ideal size for collaboration.

It has sent a brochure outlining 36 examples of joint initiatives to MSPs, with the aim of feeding into the reviews of lifelong learning and higher education.

A Universities Scotland spokesperson said: "We have a sector that is small enough to offer easy communication between all the players, but large enough to offer excellence and diversity. We want to get across that this is a real market advantage that Scotland can exploit."

The brochure says that the pooled resources from a collaboration can achieve results that a single institution would find impossible. It says Scotland-wide initiatives such as Scottish Knowledge, which markets distance learning overseas, Technology Ventures Scotland, a commercialisation scheme, and the Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer scheme, show an integrated approach that it would be hard for higher education in other parts of the country to match.

It also highlights projects set up by academics working together, such as the Scottish Network for Chronic Pain Research, a joint initiative by Queen Margaret University College and Stirling and Glasgow Caledonian universities. It is investigating the extent of chronic pain and the best ways of assessing and living with it.

St Andrews, Edinburgh, Stirling and Abertay Dundee universities run the Scottish primate research group to promote the welfare and conservation of monkeys and apes.

Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde universities are collaborating with further education colleges to create a sports medicine centre at the refurbished national football stadium at Hampden Park.

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