WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden was today officially inaugurated as Rector of the University of Glasgow.
The ceremony, held in the University’s Bute Hall, saw the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor taking over the role from MP Charles Kennedy.
Snowden was elected by students at the university to represent their interests and will hold the post for three years however it is doubtful that he will visit the campus and will be represented at meetings of the University’s governing body by the ‘Convener of Court’.
He is currently living in exile in Russia after leaking details of surveillance programmes carried out by US intelligence.
The American gave his inaugural address by video link.
He said: “ “Thank you to the students, the Students’ Representative Council and everyone who took part in the elections. I am disappointed I could not be here is person.
“In a democracy people have a right to know the policies of their government...this idea that if we believe in something we should stand up for it is what I will follow in my role as Rector of the University.”
The American received 3,347 of the 6,560 votes cast by students after author Alan Bissett had been eliminated from the running in the first round.
Jess McGrellis, President of the University of Glasgow’s Students’ Representative Council, said: “Today marks the installation of Edward Snowden as Rector after overwhelming support from students in the election. We are happy that Mr Snowden was able to continue the tradition of addressing students at this installation.”