History: The idea of a university covering the Scottish Highlands and Islands began in 1653; UHI was designated as a higher education institution in April 2001. It achieved taught-degree awarding powers in August 2008 and now awards its own undergraduate and postgraduate taught degrees. Formerly known as the UHI Millennium Institute, it became The University of the Highlands and Islands in February 2011.

Address: Many. UHI is made up of a partnership of colleges and research institutions spread across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, including Moray and Perthshire.

Ambience: Depends on where you choose to study. Inverness and Perth are rapidly developing and increasingly cosmopolitan cities. Other colleges are located in more rural communities.

Who's the boss? Professor Clive Mulholland is the new Principal and Vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Prospectus: 0845 272 3600 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: H49

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Because it is committed to widening participation, entry requirements are flexible and vary depending on the course. Work experience is taken into account as equally as academic qualifications.

Vital statistics: Over 7,700 students study with UHI. The affiliated institutions include further and higher education colleges, specialist colleges and specialist research centres. All teaching is in English apart from at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, a specialist Gaelic-medium college on the Isle of Skye.

Added value: Big investments into technology and facilities in recent years. UHI is the only higher education institution based in the Highlands and Islands, but distance is not an issue. An information network of more than 70 local learning centres at 13 colleges enables students in more remote parts to access university-level courses online or by video conference. Autumn 2015 will see Inverness College UHI open its doors to students in its new location at Inverness Campus, a new state-of-the-art facility providing an array of undergraduate courses and research facility. Other developments include the £6.5m Alexander Graham Bell Life Science Centre at Moray College UHI.

Any accommodation? Some of the university campuses offer dedicated student accommodation. For campuses that do not have dedicated student accommodation, or for students who prefer private rented accommodation, assistance is offered looking for suitable lodgings if required. The university is currently in advanced discussions on the development of additional high quality student residential accommodation across our campuses. Best to check the university's accommodation page for specific details here.

Cheap to live there? For campuses that do not have dedicated student accommodation, or for students who prefer private rented accommodation, assistance is offered looking for suitable lodgings if needed. The average monthly cost across all 13 campuses for renting a room in private accommodation is £257 month without bills.

Transport links: Trains to Inverness from London take about eight hours. Flights from Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Fees: Scottish and EU students pay £1,820 per year while those from the rest of the UK pay £7,740 per year for full-time degree courses.

Bursaries: The university has a number of funds that students can apply to for financial assistance. Visit the website for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Varied. Could be the pubs and clubs of Inverness and Perth, or a more cultural, yet just as lively, community-based experience in smaller colleges.

Sports ranking: Ranked 114th in the BUCS 2013/14 league table.

Glittering alumni: None as yet but give it time.