A LEADING university has pledged to use Gaelic as part of its day-to-day functions to help secure the language’s long-term future.
The University of Glasgow said, under its five-year Gaelic language plan, communications, staffing matters and publications would now be done in Gaelic alongside English.
Principal Anton Muscatelli said the move was part of its aspiration “to secure the status of Gaelic as an official language of Scotland”. He added: “Gaelic is a significant part of Scotland’s cultural and social identity. We are justifiably proud that it has been taught on campus for more than a century.
“Given the recent resurgence of interest in Gaelic across Scotland and especially within the city of Glasgow, now is the right time to launch our Gaelic language plan for the University of Glasgow. We look forward to implementing the plan. The university aspires to securing the status of Gaelic as an official language of Scotland.”
The plan has been developed over the past year following a request from the Gaelic promotion board Bòrd na Gàidhlig under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
The university will also increase the number students on Gaelic-related undergraduate and postgraduate courses and seek to increase the number of staff and students taking Gaelic courses, as well as introducing Gaelic language summer courses as part of its Centre for Open Studies.
It is also considering the use of a “bilingual corporate identity”, for marketing overseas. Glasgow University is carrying out research into the impact of such an identity, which will be shared with the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
Fiona Dunn, the university’s Gaelic language officer, said: “It has been a pleasure to develop this important and significant plan.
“Our consultation work with key stakeholders has allowed us to prepare a plan which we believe is relevant and inclusive to the University of Glasgow and I believe it will make a very meaningful contribution to the ongoing revitalisation of Gaelic.”
Last month, the Scottish Government announced £800,000 of funding for a new Gaelic primary in Glasgow. The school, which will be part of the existing Glendale Campus in Pollokshields, follows the opening of Glasgow’s first 3-18 Gaelic school, at Woodside, in August 2006.
Minister for Scotland’s languages Alastair Allan said: “We are very pleased to see Glasgow supporting Gaelic through its Gaelic language plan.
“Such plans have proven successful in supporting the language by mainstreaming it into the everyday operations of public bodies while offering those with Gaelic the opportunity to use it in their working lives.”