Report says a quarter of the workforce could have lower skills by the mid-2030s if schools do not reopen.
A total of 21 new research projects, including one at Edinburgh University, will be backed by £14m of funding.
Staff at 15 universities will begin strike action over pay and working conditions on Thursday.
Former Scotland rugby international Doddie Weir revealed his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis in June 2017.
Lord Reed has been sworn in as the new head of the UK's highest court, succeeding Lady Hale.
Wang Pok Lo - a school pupil in West Lothian - has already graduated with a master's degree.