Scottish Parliament cross-party group visit GCU New York

04 April 2014

Scottish Parliament cross-party group visit GCU New York

A cross-party delegation from the Scottish Parliament, led by Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick, visited Glasgow Caledonian University’s New York campus (GCU NY) during the city’s Scotland Week celebrations.

The delegation, which included Linda Fabiani, the Scottish National Party MSP for East Kilbride, toured the new campus at 64 Wooster Street, SoHo on April 4. GCU is the first British university to launch a campus in New York and is marking its opening with a series of events, including the inaugural Caledonian Lecture to be given by Scotland’s First Minister, the Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond MSP on Monday, April 7.

The representatives from Scotland’s Parliament, based at Holyrood in Edinburgh, met with the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Vice-President GCU NY Cara Smyth, and GCU Student President Matt Lamb, to learn about the development of the New York campus, including its planned programmes and transatlantic exchange opportunities for students and staff.

There was a lively and engaged dialogue between the visiting MSPs and the delegation from GCU. As well as expressing a positive impression of the new campus, discussions focused on the different opportunities that GCU New York would provide for stakeholders from Scottish education, business and cultural life.

The delegation also discussed GCU's commitment to widening access and the recent news that the University has increased its proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, while improving its metrics in progression and drop out rates, was warmly received.

Presiding Officer, the Rt. Hon. Tricia Marwick MSP, said: “Scotland Week offers a fantastic opportunity for the many individuals and organisations across North America who mark their connections with Scotland on 6 April, such as the Scottish Parliament and GCU. As this campus demonstrates, we share more than just a history together. Indeed, we enjoy a strong and enduring relationship with our American cousins. I was delighted to see first-hand how Scottish institutions like GCU are reaching out across North America and developing cultural and economic relationships.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU Professor Pamela Gillies said: “The University was honoured to welcome the cross party group of MSPs to GCU New York. As one of the first official visits to the campus, we were able to speak with the representatives about the University’s ambitious plans at home and abroad.

“Scotland Week is a celebration of our country and its rich heritage and, as a University which can trace its distinguished history back to 1875 through its founding colleges, we look forward to laying new foundations in New York.”

GCU NY is a key development in the University’s internationalisation strategy. Modelled closely on the success of GCU London v1, the campus in New York will initially offer a range of non-credit and non-degree related executive education programmes and masterclasses in areas of strength, including the business of fashion, luxury brand management, social business and finance and risk management.

GCU New York plans to extend its activities to include a range of full-time and part-time Masters degree programmes, subject to approval by the education authority NYSED.

Student President Matt Lamb said: “The new campus will raise the international profile of the University and provide students with the opportunity to be truly globally networked. Meeting with representatives from Holyrood gave me the chance to speak to MSPs, on behalf of students, about the student experience and the exchange opportunities available at GCU.”

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