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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Ceremony marks university status
Queen Margaret College ceremony (Pic: By Sandy Young)
The event included the gifting of a ceremonial mace
The establishment of Scotland's newest university has been marked with a special ceremony.

The former Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh, which was awarded university status earlier this year, was formally renamed on Thursday.

Kwik-Fit tycoon Sir Tom Farmer and First Minister Alex Salmond were among those taking part in a special ceremony to mark the occasion.

The celebrations took place at the Assembly Halls in Edinburgh.

The first minister welcomed Queen Margaret University as a full member of the Scottish university system, while Sir Tom formally accepted the position of its founding chancellor.

The ceremony, which included the gifting of a ceremonial mace from Edinburgh University, was interspersed with music and films from students and performances from the academic institution's fiddle group and choir.

Afterwards the first minister, Sir Tom and university principal Prof Anthony Cohen led guests from the worlds of government, academia, business and the arts on a procession to the Mound for a celebratory reception.

On Thursday Queen Margaret University comes of age, as Scotland's first new university of the post-devolution era
Prof Anthony Cohen
Queen Margaret University

Prof Cohen said: "On Thursday Queen Margaret University comes of age, as Scotland's first new university of the post-devolution era.

"We have earned our place among Scotland's universities through a substantial record of achievement in teaching and research and by having successfully undergone an exhaustive and rigorous process of scrutiny to warrant our standards."

He said the university aimed to contribute to Scotland's "knowledge economy" as well as widen access to higher education.

Sir Tom said: "I am delighted to be appointed the first chancellor to Scotland's newest and most exciting university.

"I now look forward to being associated with the students and others involved with the university."

As well as gaining university status, staff and students are moving to a new campus later this summer.

Craighall campus
Craighall campus is in the east of the capital

More than 5,000 will relocate from the university's centres in Corstorphine and Leith to the 100m Craighall campus to the east of the capital.

Scotland's newest university was founded in 1875 as an institution to train women from all backgrounds in how to create better standards of health for their families by developing their nutritional knowledge.

It still focuses on teaching health professions but students can also choose from courses in business and management, hospitality and tourism, and drama, media and communications.

Mr Salmond said: "This is a wonderful and historic day for Queen Margaret as it marks achieving its full university title.

"I am also pleased to welcome the appointment of Sir Tom Farmer to the position of chancellor at Queen Margaret University.

"I have no doubt he will be a great asset to the university as it begins this exciting new chapter."

Farmer crowned as QMU chancellor
05 Mar 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Queen Margaret awarded uni status
16 Jan 07 |  Edinburgh and East
New university campus is approved
14 Oct 05 |  Scotland

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