New Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

First Minister to appoint Richard Lochhead.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced her intention to appoint Richard Lochhead as Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.

Mr Lochhead will be able to undertake some Ministerial duties immediately and will be put forward for approval by Parliament next week (subject to Parliamentary timetabling) and Her Majesty the Queen in September.

The First Minister said:

“Richard brings his significant experience to the role, having previously served in government for nine years and I’m pleased he has agreed to become the new Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.

“He has been a hugely successful campaigning MSP in parliament over the last two years, particularly over the issue of delivery charges, and I know he will bring that energy and drive into government.

“As a minister he will work to deliver our ambitious agenda to widen access to education, support our world leading universities and promote opportunities for young people to realise their full potential including through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

“Subject to parliament’s approval next week this appointment completes the Ministerial team for the coming Parliamentary year that will deliver on Scotland’s ambition and continue to deal with the challenges posed by Brexit.”

Mr Lochhead said:

“Two years ago, I stepped back from Government. That was the right decision for my family at the time. Now, I am honoured and privileged to be asked to rejoin the Scottish Government ministerial team.

“The Further Education, Higher Education and Science role is an exciting opportunity not just to help shape one of the underpinning economic strengths of Scotland but also deliver on our ambitions for a fairer country. We owe that to our young people and our adult learners. I look forward to getting to grips with this challenging and important agenda.” 


Richard Lochhead MSP was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003 via the North East regional list. During the second session of Parliament he stood down from his regional seat and was elected as constituency MSP for Moray in the by-election in April 2006. He was the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment from 2007 to 2016. Mr Lochhead lives with his wife Fiona and sons Angus and Fraser. In his spare time he is a keen cyclist.

Prior to Parliamentary agreement, and approval by the Queen, a Minister Designate is able to fulfil many aspects of their Ministerial duties. They may attend official meetings, including Cabinet, if requested by the First Minister. There are some limitations in respect of entering into legal agreements on behalf of the SG, spending commitments, answering PQs, speaking in Parliamentary Debates on behalf of the Government and signing statutory instruments.

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