We cannot dispute that the last two years have been incredibly challenging for everyone in the university sector, but despite the ongoing disruption associated with COVID-19, Queen Margaret University has much to be proud of.

More than ever, we are aware of the incredible impact that our graduates are having on the world around them. They have risen to the challenges presented by the pandemic and are using their skills and experience to be a force for good. Their influence on the health service is clear to see and we are immensely proud to learn about the work that our graduates are doing in the NHS, amongst other areas, to help the country through the pandemic. You can read, first-hand, about the real-life experiences of a speech and language therapist, a nurse, and a home economics teacher, as they get to grips with their new roles and work to help others during the most difficult of times.

One of the most rewarding moments of the last year was our first outdoor graduation celebration. Despite the COVID restrictions, we were determined not to let another year go by without providing the Class of 2020 and 2021 with the opportunity to mark their graduation success. A traditional indoor ceremony was not possible, but due to a spectacular team effort, we were able to host an outdoor celebration which brought together new graduates with families, friends and staff. It was a truly joyous three-day occasion with warm sun, popping corks, swishing graduation robes, endless photo sessions, smiles and laughter. 

Having adapted our way of living, working and studying, we are acutely aware of the impact that the last two years has had on mental health. In this edition of the magazine, we introduce you to some of our special spaces on campus which we are using to help create a positive environment for students and staff to work and relax.
You can also find out about our work in public health and our drive to be a ‘healthy university’.

The pandemic has focused much of our country’s attention on the health profession, but in QMYOU 88 and in this edition of the magazine, we celebrate 50 years of drama and performing arts. It has been a joy to hear about the career journeys of many of our graduates, and we are delighted that the instantly recognisable Scottish comedian Craig Hill has shared his story with us.

You can also read about Adam Park, who has risen up the ranks at Jungle Creations in London to manage some of the biggest brands on social media. We have more fascinating graduate career stories to share with you on our ‘50 Years of Drama and
Performing Arts at QMU’ webpages and social media posts.

In our interview with Craig Hill, the former acting student talked about finding his fit at QMU. We pride ourselves on creating a supportive atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable. We are therefore delighted to have exceeded our initial expectations following our application for charter status of LGBT Youth Scotland. The achievement of a silver charter award from the national charity for LGBT+ young people is an important step in our drive to create an inclusive university.

I hope you find inspiration from some of our news stories, features and interviews. If you are a graduate, please continue to stay in touch with the University through our Alumni Office and if you are a member of the public or are already connected with the University, please consider talking to our Development team about different ways you can support our work.

With very best wishes
Sir Paul Grice FRSE, FAcSS