Meet the inspiring Scottish education providers innovating with technology at the 2024 The Herald Higher Education Awards

The Jisc-sponsored award for ‘Innovative Use of Technology’ celebrates Scottish higher education providers using digital innovation to support students, staff and their wider community.

A young woman laughs and carries a laptop as she prepares to present her work to the class.

We have been a proud sponsor of The Herald HE Innovative Use of Technology award since 2016, helping to recognise talent, innovation, and digital skill across the Scottish education sector.

This year’s finalists, Edinburgh Napier University (EDU), Glasgow Clyde College, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, and West College Scotland, are being celebrated for their innovation in teaching to support students, engage with employers and make significant contributions to student and academic life.

Jason Miles-Campbell, Jisc’s director of Scotland and Northern Ireland, said:

“We are proud to be sponsoring the Innovative Use of Technology award again, and to showcase some of the ways in which Scotland's education landscape is transforming to innovate for the good of their students, staff, local communities and industry.

“Congratulations to our five finalists who have identified very different, but equally important, issues within education and society that can be improved with the use of technology.

“From arming the next generation of cyber defenders, to upskilling education professionals and highlighting the importance of digital learning for students, these five projects demonstrate the values of the award and help build a better education landscape.”

“Good luck to all finalists and keep up the good work.”

Edinburgh Napier University - The Virtualised Security Operations Centre Integration with Information Services

The University’s School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (SCEBE) developed an innovative virtual labs platform; the Virtualised Security Operations Centre (VSOC). It enables students to work in groups or individually using an isolated and safe environment to learn about cyber security, practice penetration testing, and understand the signs of cybersecurity attacks. This service provides students with an environment that mirrors their future workplaces.

Glasgow Clyde College – Empowering Staff Through Generative AI

This project aimed to revolutionise staff engagement by seamlessly incorporating generative AI into learning and teaching workflows. The college envisioned a dynamic environment where educators could work efficiently, enhance productivity and foster creativity. By democratising access to AI, staff members were empowered regardless of technical abilities. Glasgow Clyde first rolled out the TeacherMatic tool to a small cohort and continues to grow this number with the aim of rolling it out to all staff.

University of St Andrews – The Graduate Attribute Platform

Staff and students at the University of St Andrews created a unique graduate attribute platform to give students autonomy in developing and tracking their attributes and achievements to create a dynamic framework that helps students articulate their university experience. Students praised the platform for giving them the opportunity to track their progress in employability areas and encourage lifelong learning.

University of Stirling – Learning Technologies

Information services at the University of Stirling led a transformative, multimillion pound project to deliver state-of-the-art technology and audio visual (AV) solutions in learning spaces across the campus. The use of this type of technology helped create dynamic learning spaces equipped for all modes of teaching and designed to optimise learning through the learning experience. The project combines technology, flexible furniture, lighting and colour to enhance the learning ambience and environment.

West College Scotland – DIGISKLS at West

DIGISKLS courses at West College Scotland aim to improve and support students’ experience by providing three courses on digital pioneering skills. Evolved from an online course developed during the pandemic, these courses allow students to gain recognised micro-credentials and equip them with the vital digital skills and literacy required to make a success of their academic and professional futures.

The winner of The Herald HE Awards will be announced on Tuesday, 28 May 2024 in a ceremony that recognises and celebrates the extraordinary achievements of universities and colleges across Scotland.