New university partnership to provide social enterprise boost to higher education

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University (QMU) has joined forces with Edinburgh-based charity, Cyrenians, to combine their shared vision for social justice and put sustainable social enterprise at the centre of higher education.

The new partnership will provide QMU students with a range of opportunities to experience working in the development and support of sustainable social enterprise. This will include research projects and academic studies within QMU’s specialist areas of health and rehabilitation, food education, film-making and event management, as well as volunteering and fundraising opportunities.

QMU students will get the chance to support their academic studies by working on live projects and services for Cyrenians, which has been working with the homeless and vulnerable for almost half a century.

Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice Chancellor of QMU, said: “The partnership with Cyrenians demonstrates our shared commitment to social justice, recognising equality and diversity that leads to a more inclusive society in which everyone has the opportunity to live valued and fulfilling lives.

“It also promotes a commitment to the development of sustainable social enterprises, innovation, as well as a willingness to take risks, challenge convention and be creative.”

Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians CEO added “This partnership speaks of our shared values in striving to create communities without borders and helping to improve people’s lives locally, nationally and internationally. We share a desire to be ambitious and enterprising, holding social justice at the heart of all we do. In a shared vision of what we have and who we are, we are all transformed. This is an exciting journey to be setting out on together.”

Notes to Editor


Cyrenians Mission is to support people excluded from family, home, work or community on their life journey. Cyrenians is an independent Scottish Charity (number SC011052) with an outstanding track record in pioneering creative solutions to the contemporary problems faced by people on the margins of society, such as: homelessness, hunger, poverty, unemployment, recovery from addiction and recidivism. The name Cyrenians comes from the biblical story of Simon the Cyrene but Cyrenians was founded as and remains a secular organisation.

Find out more about the Edinburgh Cyrenian Trust.

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

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