Monday, 20 August 2007

A few unrelenting voices

Some of this years graduates. Now there will be many more!

This is just a quickie to say that we have managed to save our university campus!!!!!!!!

In February this year it was announced that due to funding issues the University of Glasgow was going to pull out of our small, rural campus. The Scottish Funding Council didn't think we were worth financing. We thought differently and created a rucus. The local papers rallied round to support us and we have managed to maintain a small but vocal profile. We petitioned, we sought meetings and finally we walked the hundred or so miles to Glasgow to show our determination to keep the campus going.

Today it was announced that we have been successful. The SFC have relented and offered over a million pounds to keep Glasgow in Dumfries. Undergraduate recruitment will resume, the arts will continue to be taught here in this much neglected region of Scotland. The SNP (Scottish National Party) have pledged to not only keep university education in the region but to expand it.

At times we all felt like we were banging our heads against concrete. That no one was listening. That perhaps we should just accept our fate. But something kept us going. And now vindication! All those sleepless nights, all those frantic phonecalls and endless meetings and that agonising trek upon tar and concrete in ever shrinking shoes; all those hideous newspaper photographs and bizzare interviews were worth it. The population of Dumfries and Galloway get to keep their university and thus their access to the world of poetry, philosophy, history, creative writing and storytelling. It all goes to show that it's true, education, once given can never be taken away.


Mary Witzl said...

This is great news, Eryl, and congratulations to you for doing your part! I've never even gotten to see the Crichton campus properly and had despaired of ever being able to do so. Now, thanks to you and your group, I don't have to feel so bad about that.

Kim Ayres said...

This is fantastic! What an achievement! I hope you're allowing yourself a serious smug moment.

Well done Eryl!

Carole said...

Amazing, how vigilance pays off. I don't know that I would have had the stamina you had to follow it through, but it is such a wonderful story. Great job. And so many people will benefit, and they will never know what you went through for them, but they will still get to learn. Very truly wonderful.

Dr Maroon said...

I heard it on the news last night and it struck a chord.
"How do I know about this?" I thought.
Then I remembered.
What a wonderful thing the blogoshere is.
You may be interested to know I had a chat with Alex about it when I saw him last week, but if I can't help out then what's the point?

Eryl Shields said...

Mary ~ You'll have to come and have a grand tour one day. There are some beautiful gardens and soon there will be a massive new library.

With regards to not going to see things that are on your doorstep: I've lived in Scotland scince 1984 and this is the first year I've been to the Edinburgh festival and actually gone to see an act other than those I've stumbled upon in the street.

Kim ~ I couldn't stop smiling yesterday.

Carole ~ I really do hope that local people will take advantage of the opportunity they now have.

Dr. M ~ I knew something must have happened to turn the tide.

PI said...

You should be proud of yourselves. Well done you!

Kanani said...

I'm really glad. I followed your quest, and now there's a happy ending!

SafeTinspector said...

The last sentance should end with
"....this time."
and then dun-dun-DUUUUNNN!!!!

Eryl Shields said...

Pi ~ Thank you. I hope I don't make it sound like it was just me! There's a core group of five of us plus others who supported us with letter writing and turning up to meetings and events etc.

What I feel most pleased about is that a few people in a remote region can actually make a difference if they just hang on in there.

Kanani ~ Isn't it nice to find that real life does have happy endings sometimes?

Safetinspector ~ Hello! Thanks for commenting. What sinister thoughts you have conjured in me.