Extra university places created in the Highlands will inject an estimated extra £22.5m into Scotland’s economy according to a report.
The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) will boast record numbers of students going into the new academic year after the Scottish Government invested £5.5m to fund 1000 additional places.
The extra places, announced in December, were created as part of a scheme to ensure every 16 to 19-year-old in Scotland has a place in further education.
According to an independent report by BiGGAR Economics every £1 invested in UHI returns £4 to the Scottish economy.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said: "UHI is able to offer world class facilities to every student that takes up a place of study in the north of Scotland.
"As our newest institution, it is exciting, vibrant and forward thinking. It is also priceless for the economic development of the north.
"We have funded an additional 1000 places through the Scottish Funding Council at UHI and with every pound spent on UHI generating a return of four times that amount for the Scottish economy. This is clearly money well spent.
"That is before the students even graduate. With an excellent qualification, UHI students will be in an excellent position to take their place at the heart of Scotland's economy in the coming years.
"With places still available for Scottish students at UHI and other universities, students in the clearing system still have a number of study options without needing to look elsewhere."