QMU Children’s University summer graduation ceremony

By Press Office

Forty-four school pupils from across Midlothian and East Lothian gathered at Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh on Saturday 18 June to celebrate their learning achievements.

The junior scholars were joined by family, friends, and teachers to celebrate their graduation from the Queen Margaret Children’s University. The young people, clad in bright blue gowns and mortar boards, were delighted to receive their awards for the learning they had taken part in outside school hours.

QMU is the first higher education institution in the east of Scotland to host the Children’s University which aims to help school children, aged between seven and 14 years of age (and five and six year olds with their families), become confident learners and broaden their horizons.

The initiative strives to raise children’s aspirations, encourages them to learn in different ways, and rewards them for taking part in a wide variety of learning activities outside of school hours. The children build up credits the more they engage in learning activities.  They are also motivated to keep going with their learning activities by working towards bronze, silver and gold certificates. 

Nine schools (Danderhall Primary School, Dunbar Grammar School, Dunbar Primary School, King's Park Primary School, Kingsmeadow Primary School, Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School, St. Gabriel's RC Primary School, Stoneyhill Primary School, Yester Primary School) were represented at the event which saw children taking part in the formal graduation ceremony in the University’s main lecture theatre, followed by celebrations with their families on the campus grounds.

Queen Margaret Children’s University has really captured the attention of thousands of youngsters and their families across the east of Scotland. The first graduation ceremony took place in January 2014 and today over 3000 pupils have signed up to the scheme. Over 1000 of these pupils have already achieved a minimum 30 hours of learning activities outside of school hours. The Children’s University continues to expand with more schools and pupils signing up each month.

Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “I am a firm believer in opportunity for all and QMU is totally committed to widening access to higher education. The Children’s University is an outstanding initiative which encourages young people to develop goals and ambitions. We are already seeing the impact of this work with some pupils on the programme now aspiring to be the first in their family to go to university. The Queen Margaret Children’s University encourages young people to consider future possibilities, not matter what their background.”

For more information on the QMU Children’s University and to sign up contact Haley Jones, Children’s University Officer at Queen Margaret University on T: 0131 474 0000 or E: hjones@qmu.ac.uk

Notes to Editor

Children’s University funding and support

  • Queen Margaret Children’s University is supported by the Scottish Funding Council through Regional Coherence Funding.
  • Children’s University Scotland is supported by the ScottishPower Foundation and Brodies law firm.

Children’s University Scotland

Children’s University Trust Scotland was registered as a charity in April 2013, set up to oversee the strategic development of Children’s University in Scotland. Children's University Scotland was the first project to be awarded funding by the ScottishPower Foundation, established to reinforce the energy company's commitment to charitable work throughout Britain. The Foundation was launched by Glasgow school children from member schools of Glasgow Children's University at an event held at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in June 2013.

Strathclyde University established the first local Children’s University in the West of Scotland earlier in 2013.

Children’s University Scotland is also supported by Brodies law firm, providing pro bono legal advice and the time and expertise of one of its consultants, Jock Brown, who chairs the Board of Trustees of CU Trust Scotland. The other trustees are:

  • Ken Cunningham, General Secretary of School Leaders Scotland, and former head of Hillhead High School, Glasgow
  • Doug Wilson, UK Director of General Services and Health & Safety at Scottish Power
  • Gillian Hastings, Principal of Polar Horizons, accounting and tax consultancy

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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