QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 80 - Page 2

Principal’s Introduction The last few months have been a whirlwind of launches, special events, widening access initiatives and research successes for QMU. The arrival of the Kelpies maquettes on campus (see page 5) has not only been a talking point for all our visitors, these exquisite equine sculptures have enhanced the look of University Square and attracted many local people who have been keen to see and photograph them. Our thanks go to Falkirk Council for gifting them to us over the winter months. They are simply stunning! December saw the launch of our Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation. With a history in food dating back to 1875, the University was keen to capitalise on its expertise in food, nutrition and biological health sciences. Over recent years, the University has significantly developed its research and commercial work supporting the growth and development of Scotland’s food and drink industry, particularly SMEs. Building on this success, our launch of the first Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation will enhance Scotland’s position as a leader in food and drink innovation in Europe and support access to the global market for healthy and functional food. Read more about the new centre on pages 18 and 19. We were delighted to conclude a very eventful year with confirmation of our research excellence as demonstrated by our Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) results. This important UK wide research exercise showed that a substantial percentage (58%) of QMU’s research is rated as world leading or internationally excellent. You can read more about our REF results, and how our research work makes an impact on people’s lives, on pages 8 and 9. There was an energetic start to the new year with the first Queen Margaret Children’s University graduation ceremony. In January, the Halle Lecture Theatre was filled with excited children, aged from 5 to 14 years of age, supported by parents, teachers, members of the local community and QMU staff. The project, which is part of QMU’s widening participation strategy, aims to inspire children to engage with learning outside the school curriculum. I am sure that this joyous occasion will have helped encourage the young participants in the Children’s University to continue to stretch themselves. Read more on pages 6 and 7. As always, we are delighted to hear and share news of graduate successes, so please do stay connected with the University via our alumni team. If your business could benefit from research from our new Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, or from our business experts, please do get in touch. If you can contribute to QMU’s success in any way, whether through a donation, scholarship or legacy, or through mentoring or providing internships, we would really love to hear from you. Professor Petra Wend, PhD, FRSA, FRSE Principal and Vice-Chancellor Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh << Professor Petra Wend, QMU Principal, with the Kelpies maquettes in University Square 2 QMYOU / Principal’s Introduction