Alex Salmond to get degree from Glasgow University

ALEX Salmond is to be awarded an honorary degree by Glasgow University.
Alex Salmond: Honorary degree. Picture: John DevlinAlex Salmond: Honorary degree. Picture: John Devlin
Alex Salmond: Honorary degree. Picture: John Devlin

The institution has announced it will confer an honorary degree of doctor of the university on the former Scottish First Minister, in recognition of his contribution to public life.

Mr Salmond - who is currently bidding for a return to Westminster - will receive the accolade in a ceremony at the university’s Bute Hall tomorrow night, before delivering a public lecture.

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Principal and vice-chancellor Professor Anton Muscatelli said the decision to grant the award continues a long tradition at Glasgow University of recognising “major contributions to public life from across the political spectrum”.

Previous recipients of honorary degrees include former First Minister Donald Dewar, Sir Menzies Campbell, Charles Kennedy and George Younger.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to be handed an honorary degree by the institution next week.

“All political observers recognise that Alex Salmond is a dominant figure in Scottish politics. In a parliamentary career that spans almost three decades, he was twice leader of the SNP, and the longest serving First Minister of Scotland from 2007-2014,” Prof Muscatelli said.

“Higher education was a key part of his programme for government aand in spite of challenging economic circumstances his government supported the global ambition of Scotland’s universities whilst encouraging access from all who had talent and ambition to learn.

“Mr. Salmond led Scotland during what was arguably the most important period of constitutional debate in the last 300 years, leading to the 2014 Independence Referendum. He stood down as First Minister and SNP leader in the aftermath of the Referendum, but in seeking to return to Westminster at the forthcoming General Election he continues to play an important role in British politics.

“We look forward to conferring an Honorary Degree on Alex Salmond and to the lecture that he will deliver.”

Mr Salmond is currently campaigning to be elected MP for the Gordon constituency, a seat currently held by the Liberal Democrats.

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The former SNP leader said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this honour from the University of Glasgow - one of Scotland’s most distinguished institutions, which has truly shaped the world we live in throughout its history.

“And to this day, Glasgow remains at the vanguard in terms of teaching excellence and research.

“I am extremely proud of what the SNP in government has achieved for Scottish education - principally the abolition of tuition fees, which has restored a long tradition of education based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.”