Updates for students, staff and visitors
Courses will now be delivered online and taught remotely by our lecturing teams.
Students and the public will no longer be able to access college buildings, Thurso campus including ERI, Rural Studies Centre, Tern House and Ballachraggan in Alness, Burghfield House and Ross House in Dornoch.
All of our support services including support, funding, library, IT and admissions are still contactable by email. Please see our contact us section for more information.
Students must continue to monitor their North Highland College UHI email account for all communications and updates. Resources are available to help anyone who is not familiar with some of the online technologies.
- How to access Webex
- How to get access Skype for Business
- How to get into your email account
- How to get into your online Brightspace Virtual Learning Environment
University-wide information can be found at www.uhi.ac.uk/coronavirus
Contact us! Our teams are working remotely from home and are contactable by email.
Funding and bursary information for students
Funding and bursary information for students
We understand that a lot of our students will be concerned about their funding while the campus buildings are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our funding team have provided a short update for all students currently in receipt of bursaries, EMAs, FE & HE Discretionary Hardship Funds and FE and HE Childcare.
Payment of Student Support Fund
As of 18 March 2020, until classes and placements resume you will be granted authorised absence with an expectation you engage in online learning where it is being provided for you by staff. Payment of your Student Support Fund award(s) of funds will be paid as follows:
Paid in full in the normal way on the scheduled date (please remember there are no payments for holiday weeks and this has not changed).
Maintenance allowance for living costs will be paid in full in the normal way on the scheduled date.
All travel allowance payments for students will stop from 23rd March 2020.
FE & HE Discretionary Hardship Funds
Paid in full in the normal way on the scheduled date.
FE & HE Childcare
Please submit childcare expense claim forms for term weeks only to Student Support Team email account firstname.lastname@example.org (please remember there are no payments for holiday weeks and this has not changed). Mobile phone photographs of the whole front page claim forms will be acceptable.
The learner support teams usually based in Thurso, Alness, Dornoch and Nigg are all working from home. We are contacting students who we were working with before the college closed to make arrangements with them to continue their support. In the meantime, if you have any questions about funding or learner support, or if you are concerned about safeguarding issues, we are contactable on
- Anna Swanson 07818 288 075
- Jackie Manderson 07955 705 259
- or private message our Facebook page (NHC Student Support)
Please regularly check your student email, college website or social media for updates.
Information for applicants
Information for applicants
We are closely monitoring the ongoing advice and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure we can support our current and prospective applicants for September 2020 and beyond.
If you are considering applying or already have an application with us, please be assured that our admissions staff will continue to work hard to process your application and keep in touch with you on progress. Please bear with us however as this may take a bit longer than usual.
Currently all face-to-face interviews have been suspended for applicants, however, we will be in touch with anyone affected to explain the alternative measures being put in place where this is necessary.
Exams have now been cancelled in Scotland and the rest of the UK, as well as many other countries across the world. We are aware of how unsettling this situation is for all those affected. We are monitoring the processes put in place by the different exam bodies to allow grading and certification to go ahead in the absence of the final exams and will work with this information when it becomes available.
If you have a conditional or receive a conditional offer from us in the coming months relating to exam results, we have been informed that your final grades will come through to us as normal to allow final decisions to be made. There is a small possibility that the final results for some qualifications may change or take longer to process, and if this is the case, we will notify any applicants this affects.
Please rest assured that if you have not achieved the result you hoped for due to the exams being cancelled, we will consider all evidence provided to ensure that you have an opportunity to access education at the appropriate level that gives you the best chance to succeed. We will keep you informed of any impacts on your application. You can help us by making sure you respond as quickly as possible to offers made and any requests for additional information.
The university is committed to supporting applicants to achieve their ambition and potential and will continue to consider applicants individually, looking beyond grades to do this. We will consider all evidence provided to ensure that applicants have an opportunity to access education at the appropriate level that gives them the best chance to succeed. We are in a unique position because of our network of academic partners to be able to offer our applicants a range of access options to suit their circumstances.
We have had to cancel all scheduled open days and applicant days however we welcome applications for September 2020. Staff are available to answer queries, please use the contact provided in your application acknowledgment or offer letter.
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
If North Highland College UHI is closed how will I finish my course?
Although our campus buildings are closed for staff, students and visitors, we are still very much open but remotely as our services will be provided online. Our curriculum teams are working with the University of the Highlands and Islands, SQA and other awarding bodies to consider how courses will be completed. This will be different for every course. Please ensure that you check emails from your PAT and lecturers for guidance on the steps you need to take.
My course requires me to complete practical work, how will I finish my course?
Our curriculum teams are working with the University of the Highlands and Islands, SQA and other awarding bodies to consider how courses will be completed, this includes practical requirements. This will be different for every course. Please ensure that you check emails from your PAT and lecturers for guidance on the steps you need to take.
What about exams, will these go ahead?
On Thursday 19th March 2020, SQA announced that the Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exam diet has been cancelled. You can view this statement here. SQA is working with schools and colleges to develop an alternative certification model. It is important that you continue to engage with your tutors and continue to complete set work to allow marks to be allocated.
We are also working with other awarding bodies, for example City and Guilds, to agree how we will progress these exams. Please ensure that you check emails from your PAT and lecturers for guidance on the steps you need to take.
Formal examinations held in colleges or other invigilated venues will not take place in May. Programme teams are planning alternative methods of assessment, which may involve some kind of coursework, or an online ‘open book’ exam. You will be informed directly of any changes by your programme or module leader as soon as possible.
I've heard that Higher coursework is no longer needed, is that true?
On Tuesday 24th March 2020, SQA announced that schools and colleges are no longer required to submit externally marked coursework to SQA for Higher, Advanced Higher and some Nat 5 courses. You can view this statement here. SQA are working with schools and colleges to develop an alternative certification model. It is important that you continue to engage with your tutors and continue to complete set work to allow marks to be allocated. To be clear, coursework must still be completed and submitted to your tutor.
I don't have a laptop or PC at home, how will I keep up with work?
Firstly, if you are able to safely borrow a laptop/PC from anyone you are in contact with please do.
If you have absolutely no access to a laptop or PC please consider what learning you are able to undertake through the use of a smartphone, this may be limited but please consider downloading the Brightspace and MyDay apps if you have not already done so.
Please contact your PAT to discuss outstanding work, workload and deadlines. The situation will be different for each unit/module, however it may be possible for you to agree on a different format of completing assessment with your tutor, for example handwritten planning and drafts of essays.
I don't have an internet connection at home, how will I keep up with work?
Please contact your PAT to discuss outstanding work, workload and deadlines. The situation will be different for each unit/module however, it may be possible for you to agree on a different format of completing the assessment with your tutor, for example, handwritten planning and drafts of essays.
I have to share a laptop with my family and can't access classes at scheduled times, what should I do?
Please contact your PAT to discuss your timetable. Please discuss individual classes with your tutor, where virtual teaching is taking place via Brightspace and other online platforms it may be possible to access recordings or to interact with the materials in a different way.
I've been asked to use Webex, Skype or Brightspace to complete work, how will I access this?
This page has been updated to provide students and staff with resources helping them access Webex, Skype for Busines and Brightspace. Please see the top of the page and if you need more assistance, please contact the Unidesk for more advice and help.
My WiFi is poor, what if it drops out, how will I complete work?
If you are finding that you are having difficulties with your Wifi, we would recommend you check your broadband speed. Please ensure you are saving your work regularly and if you are concerned about meeting deadlines and assessments due to a poor network or broadband speed, please speak to your PAT for more guidance.
I want to be able to speak to staff one to one, how can I do this?
As all of our teaching has moved to fully online, you can contact lecturers direct through email, Webex or Skype for Business. Our student support team are also available to support students with both funding and curriculum support issues. Please be assured, North Highland College UHI is dedicated to supporting you through your studies at this difficult time but as we make adjustments to how we work, there may be a delay in response times in some instances.