By Press Office 11 June 2015

Queen Margaret University (QMU) and the Hungarian Embassy have joined forces to celebrate the legacy of Saint Margaret and build links between the two nations at a special charity event in Edinburgh on 10th June.

Hosted by the Ambassador of Hungary and Mrs Gabriella Szabadhegy, the charity event was attended by Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages; Mr Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Capacities of Hungary;  Professor Alan Gilloran, Deputy Principal of QMU and Sir Tom  Farmer, Chancellor of QMU.

The official partnership has been formed in recognition of the fact that QMU takes its name from Margaret, Queen Consort of King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland, who was born in Hungary in the 11th century. 

One of the best known and loved women from Scottish and Hungarian history, Queen Margaret was renowned for her charity, education and piety in her lifetime, and as a result, was canonised as a saint in 1250.

The name Queen Margaret was incorporated into QMU’s title in 1972 because she was seen to personify the institution’s key values of serving the community, enhancing the quality of life, and taking practical action. These values still hold true today at QMU with its vision which centres on the theme of ‘relevance’.

Queen Margaret’s philosophy of social justice and her ability to identify what changes were required in society still resonates today and her name is reflected in the titles of a number of organisations with social purposes, including QMU.

Like Margaret Canmore - Saint Margaret  - QMU aims to influence, educate and inspire all of the students and organisations it works with.  Just as the queen’s efforts positively impacted Scottish people, QMU is working to help Scotland succeed in the 21st century knowledge-based economy. 

Through its specialisms in health and rehabilitation, creativity and culture, as well as sustainable enterprise, the university teaches people to heal, to innovate, to question, to share knowledge, to perform, to manage.  It is a university not just about wealth creation, but about bettering society.

Saint Margaret was also known for her international outlook, and like her, QMU is outward-looking and international in approach with 35% of its students coming from outside the UK.

In November 2014, to commemorate Saint Margaret’s lasting historic and moral legacy and to recognise and encourage support for worthy causes that embrace that legacy, Queen Margaret University joined Hungary in establishing the Queen Margaret Legacy Programme.   The programme is intended to provide professional development and exchange opportunities for students at Queen Margaret University and students at partner institutions in Hungary.  It will focus on learning, enhancing understanding, and cultivating partnerships, particularly in those areas of life which were important to Queen Margaret, such as welfare, social responsibility, and the arts and education.

Commenting on the ethos of QMU and the University’s desire to celebrate the legacy of the historic figure, Queen Margaret, Sir Tom Farmer, Chancellor of QMU, Edinburgh, said: “The name Queen Margaret was incorporated into the University’s title because she was seen to personify our key values of serving the community, enhancing the quality of life, and taking practical action. 

“Queen Margaret’s lifelong commitment to caring for the needy, helping the sick, improving people’s lives and her general compassion for people from every level of society is also reflected today in many areas in which Queen Margaret University now works.

“Like Saint Margaret, QMU aims to influence, educate and inspire all the students and organisations it works with. 

“We look forward to working in partnership with Hungary to continue the legacy of Saint Margaret through the Queen Margaret Legacy Programme.”

Commenting on the intentions behind the Legacy Programme, The Ambassador of Hungary, said: “Our highest aim in hosting this event is to commemorate Saint Margaret’s lasting historic and moral legacy and to recognise and encourage support for worthy causes that embrace that shared legacy. 

“We are grateful to our many partners who have joined us in celebrating Saint Margaret, and particularly to Queen Margaret University, without whose leadership and inspiration we would have no Queen Margaret Legacy Programme to promote scholarship and student exchange between our two countries.”

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, said: “Queen Margaret’s legacy and reputation endures in Scotland and abroad to this day.  Her many admirable qualities are a wonderful moral centrepoint that QMU champions to this day.

“I am delighted to be part of the celebrations to mark Queen Margaret’s special connection to the university and I look forward to the lasting international relationships between QMU and partner institutions in Hungary that the legacy programme will forge in her name.”

If you would like to donate to the Queen Margaret Legacy Programme, or request further information, please contact the Development team at QMU on E: development@qmu.ac.uk or T: +44 (0) 131 474 0000.

For more information on the history of Queen Margaret and why QMU is named after her, visit: http://www.qmu.ac.uk/marketing/press_releases/Why-Queen-Margaret-is-named-after-The-Saint.htm

Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, T: 0131 474 0000, E:  jperkins@qmu.ac.uk;

or

Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk; T: 0131 474 0000. M: 07711 011239.

or

Eszter Pataki, press attache, Embassy of Hungary, E: epataki@mfa.gov.hu

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Image Lynne Russell Communications Manager
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