Businesses and community invited to find out more about QMU's work

By press office

In February, Queen Margaret University will throw its doors open and invite people to find out more about the significant range of research, educational and economic development initiatives in which the University is involved. The open event will provide the chance to learn directly from those involved about the University’s recent successes and future ambitions, as well as showcase the reach of the University’s work across the Lothians, Scotland and the UK, and beyond.

Held on the 22 February, the stakeholder engagement event is open to all, with a particular focus on people from the local and business community, public and third sector bodies, arts and cultural organisations, local alumni and other individuals with an interest in learning more about the University’s work, and how they can become involved with, or benefit directly from, that work.

"We look forward to welcoming people to the University to meet staff and students, members of the University Court, the Principal and members of the senior team, and to gain insight into the amazing work and the range of initiatives in which we are involved, or indeed, lead. It’s an excellent opportunity for attendees to network informally, and to make meaningful connections that may lead to future partnership opportunities."
Pamela Woodburn, Chair of the University Court

Pamela continued: “As a university anchored firmly in East Lothian, but with a global reach, we are focused, through our teaching, research and innovation, on addressing the aspirations and needs of our local, national and international communities. This event is an opportunity for us to showcase areas in which we work collaboratively currently with a range of stakeholders.  We know that many more such opportunities exist, and what better way to explore that than to welcome individuals from a range of organisations and backgrounds into the University to see what we do, and to enable them to make new connections with us or deepen their existing links.”

Guests attending can expect an informal exhibition that will showcase a range of projects and developments, as well as a brief presentation and a Q&A session with the Principal and the Chair of Court. Those with an interest in nature and the outdoors will have the chance to explore QMU’s outdoor space and learn about the development of QMU’s Outdoor Learning Hub. Guests will also be offered informal tours of the indoor spaces and facilities. Light refreshments and opportunities to network with staff and other guests will also be available.

Tours of the Outdoor Learning Zone will take place at the start of the event at 4.30pm. Guests participating in the outdoor tour are advised to bring appropriate footwear and outdoor clothing.

Attendance at the Stakeholder Engagement is free and places can be booked at Eventbrite.

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Business and Innovation

Managed by Steve Scott, Director of Campus Development and Operations,  and Professor Richard Butt, Deputy Principal, this double stall will be split into two parts:

(1) A small exhibition on Edinburgh Innovation Park and our land development plans more broadly.

(2) A menu of ways in which businesses can innovate and grow with us, eg through the Business Innovation Zone.

Theme: business engagement

Short Courses and Upskilling for Business

Professor David Stevenson will provide information on our upskilling short courses, many of which offer free places thanks to SFC funding.  David will also be able to give information on how we can provide bespoke courses to businesses.

Theme: skills development and business engagement

Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation (SCFDI)

Catriona Liddle, the Centre Director, will be able to talk about some of the Centre’s knowledge exchange projects, including creation of a sustainable palm fat substitute, and explain how SCFDI can help food and drink businesses grow.

Theme: knowledge exchange

Client-led Student Projects in our Division of Media, Communication and Performing Arts

Lecturer Denny Collie will be available to talk about the ways that community organisations and businesses can work with QMU Media, Communication and Performing Arts students, for example through being the subject of film and photography projects, through student voluntary work, through client-led projects that feature in the curriculum, and through graduate start-ups. 

Theme: student enterprise and community engagement

Frame Running

Frame running, previously known as RaceRunning, is an adaptive athletic discipline, primarily for people with severe coordination and balance impairments. Dr Marietta Van Der Linden will talk about her research on Frame Running which informed the classification rules for Frame Running required for it to become an event at the Paralympics.  She will be able to talk about her involvement with a local East Lothian frame running club, and the University’s work with the Wooden Spoon charity to make Frame Running available to more people across Scotland.

Theme: research and community engagement

Using Ultrasound to Improve Speech Communication in Children

Professor Jim Scobbie will showcase our world-leading research using ultrasound in speech therapy and how it can literally give people a voice.

Theme: research


Dr Sian Jones & Dr Clare Utyman will talk about their work with ToyLikeMe, an arts and play based not-for-profit starting playful conversations about disability to boost self esteem and grow open minds.  For children with disabilities, rarely seeing anyone like you positively reflected in toys, books, TV, films can lead to a sense of isolation and low self esteem.  ToyLikeMe addresses that.

Theme: knowledge exchange

BOLD (a dementia initiative)

Lorna Lyons and Joy Dias will be available to talk about the bold project, funded by the Life Changes Trust, which aims to overcome the many misconceptions about living with dementia.

Bold is an innovative programme bringing diverse types of leaders together on an equal footing. It provides free leadership opportunities across Scotland to help those living with dementia flourish and make a difference.

The bold project brings together people living with dementia, family members, professional carers, NHS staff, artists and people from all walks of life. It focuses on using creative arts methods, for personal development, whenever possible.

Theme: knowledge exchange and community engagement

Community Arts

Dr Anthony Schrag, an artist and Programme Leader of our MA Arts and Social Practice will be available to talk about the impact of our student arts projects in the community.

Theme: community engagement through student projects

Lydia Osteoporosis Project

Dr Karen Matthews will showcase the work of the Lydia Osteoporosis Project. Funded by generous anonymous benefactors, this is a research, education implementation and dissemination project with healthcare staff and people with osteoporosis.   The overall aims of the project are to raise awareness of osteoporosis, and the associated increased risk of fracture amongst healthcare staff caring for people with the condition.

Theme: research and knowledge exchange

Costume Design and Construction

Lecturers Sarah Paulley and Polly Lister will showcase work created by our Costume Design and Construction students and talk about their students’ work on productions across Scotland, eg the annual panto in the Brunton Theatre.

Theme: industry links in the curriculum

Students’ Union

Aasiyah Patankar & Louise Ford, Student Presidents, will be available to talk about the work of the Students’ Union, including initiatives to help students with the cost of living.

Theme: student activity and community engagement

Enhanced Learning Tutoring Initiative and Outreach

Callum Maguire, Karen Cullen and Lisa Vettese Cruden of our Widening Participation and Outreach Team will be available to talk about ELTI (Enhanced Learning Tutoring Initiative) and, more broadly, about their work in widening participation in higher education among underrepresented groups. ELTI was shortlisted in the Times Higher Education awards, the ‘Oscars’ of higher education, for its work supporting high school pupils through one-to-one and small group tuition.

Theme: widening access to higher education

Outdoor Learning Hub

Education lecturers Patrick Boxall and Chris Green will showcase our work developing an Outdoor Learning Hub.  QMU is developing outdoor spaces on campus to model environments that a school or community group may have access to within their locality. The outdoor hub consists of an accessible ‘discovery trail’, an all-weather outdoor space, a ‘Wee Forest’ and will be supported by our digital platform. It will be a place for people to come together in a natural environment for activity, learning and well-being. The aim is to is to support teachers and community leaders and for the hub to be a community asset. Community connection is central to the development and purpose of the hub.

Theme: community engagement

The Institute for Global Health and Development

The Institute for Global Health and Development is a multidisciplinary research centre for policy- and practice-oriented research and postgraduate education. For 30 years, the Institute has been developing and enlisting world-leading approaches to a range of global and local challenges, from integration policy to health systems research to mental health and wellbeing to climate change. Dr Arek Dakessian will be available to talk about the influential work of the institute with local and global partners. 

Theme: international

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:, M: 07711 011239.

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