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Circa 60000
Fort William
notice: This position is now closed to applications.

Chair in Tourism

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West Highland College UHI is one of Scotland’s newest colleges and was created in 2010 as a result of the merger of two legacy colleges in order to provide enhanced access to, and a more coherent provision of, tertiary education for the communities of Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.  This area covers a sixth of Scotland’s land mass, serves approximately 40,000 people, contains areas of very high rurality and operates within an historic context of under-provision of further and higher education.  We are a significant contributor in addressing this issue, not least through our membership of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Our college’s vision is to be the education provider of choice, delivering leadership and excellence in learning, training and support for all students, businesses and rural communities. West Highland College UHI’s purpose is to act as a positive force for change in the development and prospects of our region, its people and its communities. We are a young, dynamic and innovative organisation with an excellent reputation locally, regionally and nationally, with some of the highest student satisfaction and college performance rates nationally.

The University of the Highlands and Islands wishes to recruit a leading tourism academic to the post of Chair in Tourism, to position UHI as a recognised international leader in the tourism field and provide the direction, excellence and vision to lead and drive the development of teaching, research and knowledge exchange across UHI.  While we would welcome applicants from across the tourism field, we are particularly interested in developing curriculum and academic leadership in adventure and/or outdoor tourism, and applications from specialists in these fields are encouraged. 

The post-holder will lead the development of new on-line tourism curricula, enhance research and teaching leadership both within the university and across the sector, and generate research income through both REF 2021 and external funding applications.  The successful candidate will also be expected to undertake some teaching across undergraduate and/or postgraduate modules, as well as supervise postgraduate students as appropriate.

The post-holder will work with the School of Adventure Studies (SOAS) ( and the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) (, both based at West Highland College UHI.  SOAS is the UK’s premier adventure tourism educator, with over 150 students studying on seven different full-time courses offered from SCQF Levels 5 to 11.  The School also offers a range of part-time courses for continuous professional development.  CRTR has been UHI’s tourism research hub since its inception six years ago.  Through research, consultancy, knowledge exchange and its leadership and participation in transnational tourism projects, the Centre has developed a strong reputation internationally.  It also initiated the annual International Adventure Conference and has an extensive network of tourism collaborators and contacts worldwide.

Although the post-holder will work closely with CRTR and SOAS, with a UHI-wide remit for tourism a central role will be to develop relationships in appropriate centres across the academic partnership.

The post-holder will:

  • Lead the development of new postgraduate and undergraduate online curricula, in collaboration with subject networks, with the creation of a new online Masters in adventure tourism expected to form the focus.
  • Generate significant research grant income.
  • Provide research leadership and increase the capacity for research collaborations, with both academic and industry partners.
  • Drive UHI’s engagement with the tourism industry and help to inform policy-making.
  • Provide expertise and leadership in core areas of tourism for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as well as supervision of postgraduate students.
  • Enhance the international standing of UHI in the tourism sector, nationally and internationally.
  • Chair UHI’s tourism knowledge exchange group, with a phased takeover of duties from the incumbent.

Applicants will need to demonstrate excellent organisational and communication skills, confidence in the analysis, interpretation and presentation of findings, data and information, and experience of working independently and proactively on a range of initiatives and projects.  They will have a strong, evidenced track record in teaching, research and income generation.

The post is a fixed-term contract of three years; at the end of this period the intention is for the post to become self-sustaining, principally through new teaching income at undergraduate and postgraduate level, but also through research council grants, consultancy and knowledge exchange projects and a strong REF 2021 return.

For further information on this pivotal role please visit: 

For a confidential discussion please contact Debbie Shields or Donogh O'Brien at Aspen People on 0141 212 7555. 

To apply please complete the short form below and submit your CV and covering letter. You should receive an automatic acknowledgement - if you do not receive this, please contact Donna Sweeny on 0141 212 7555. 

Recruitment Timetable

We have provided below a note of all the critical dates within this recruitment campaign which we hope will help you plan your diary:

Closing date

Friday 8th November – 1700 hours


w/c 25th November 2019

Added By:
Debbie Shields
Associate Director
Debbie Shields
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