Robert Gordon University (RGU) is the first university to achieve accreditation from the Scottish Innovative Student Award Scheme (SISA).

Created by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), SISA will allow universities to deliver additional courses which equips students with a forward-thinking and enterprising business skillset.

The scheme will be delivered in modules running in tandem with students’ regular degree programmes and has been designed in conjunction with three of Scotland’s Innovation Centres; DataLab, Digital Health and Care Institute and CENSIS.

RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business is the first university to receive accreditation and the students can complete Level 1 Future Thinker while studying.

The modules on the undergraduate programme include those with a creative, design, project and communication focus and are co-ordinated by a team of accredited academics from the School of Creative and Cultural Business comprising of Madeline Marcella Hood, Tracy Pirie, Fiona Blunsdon, Dorothy Giles, Simone Kurtzke and Professor Rita Marcella.

Professor Rita Marcella said: “The SISA programme will play a huge role in narrowing the gap between industry and academia, and will equip RGU students with the skills to make them stand out in the workplace.

“Employers are increasingly looking for flexible workers who can operate over multidisciplinary groups, with a rich mix of skills which will help those businesses thrive in a constantly changing global environment. Being able to teach students the right business skills, alongside their traditional academic studies, will therefore be crucial in sustaining growth in Scotland.”

The students who have gained level one Future Thinker of SISA status by completing these modules can then go on to participate in the next levels of Innovation Catalysts and Innovation Champions.

These awards are aimed at enhancing a student’s ability to stand out in the graduate recruitment market, as they will learn how they can embrace the opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as innovative employees or as future entrepreneurs.

Fiona Godsman, chief executive of SIE, said: “Our new SISA programme will benefit students, academics and industry throughout Scotland.

“We add value to undergraduate degree course by encouraging forward thinking and, crucially, by creating awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing key industries in Scotland. Our collaboration with Robert Gordon University is the first of many and we look forward to supporting them as the first group of students undertakes the modules.

“Going forward, we expect the SISA programme will play an important role in what SIE does as an organisation, and we will continue building relationships with higher education institutes to support the design of courses which teach students the fundamental skills required to thrive in today’s workplace.”

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