AN exceptional student who is dedicated to Gaelic language and culture has been named Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI Student of the Year. Laura MacLennan, a 21 year-old from Lewis, has just completed the final year of her BA (Hons) Gaelic and media studies degree.
A native Gaelic speaker who grew up in Barvas on the West of the Island, Laura was commended for her outstanding course work as well as her passion for the language. She undertook an original comparison for her fourth year dissertation, investigating language use and broadcasting in Scotland and Ireland. Tutors at the Gaelic college, which is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, believe the work will inform and stimulate further research in this field.
Laura added practical experience to her C.V. by securing a summer job at BBC Scotland in Stornoway and she is currently employed as a researcher with BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. While she has presenting experience, she ultimately hopes to work behind the scenes in Gaelic broadcasting.
Laura’s lecturer, Morag Stewart, said: “Laura’s work in her final year has been exceptional, with A grades for all of her assessments. As a native Gaelic speaker, she is very committed to the language and is happy to demonstrate this in class and on campus. She has been an excellent role model for students and her dedication to the language and culture is a great example to Gaelic learners and fluent speakers both on campus and further afield.”
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI principal, Professor Boyd Robertson, said: “Laura is the first student to graduate with Honours in Gaelic and media studies and she has done so with great distinction, being awarded a first class degree classification. In addition to her impressive academic achievements, Laura has made a notable contribution to the student body and has been a splendid ambassador for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on work placements, in interactions with external agencies and during her period of study in Ireland.”
Laura said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been named as the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI student of the year and it was a very nice surprise to have won it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my past four years in Skye and was very lucky to have had the best lecturers for both Gaelic and media studies. This is a great way to see out my last year at Sabhal Mòr.”
Laura wins £150 as the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI student of the year. She will be presented with her award at her graduation on 5 October and will also go forward as a candidate for the overall University of the Highlands and Islands student of the year award.
Photo captions: Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI student of the year Laura MacLennan at this year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival where she worked as a runner for BBC Radio nan Gàidheal
This release is also available in Gaelic upon request.
Notes to editors:
The University of the Highlands and Islands comprises thirteen further and higher education colleges, specialist colleges and research institutions, distributed throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. They are bound together through constitutional, management and academic structures, and co-ordinated through an executive office. Collectively, this is referred to as the UHI partnership.
There are currently over 7,500 students studying on undergraduate and postgraduate courses or undertaking postgraduate research with the University.
The University of the Highlands and Islands is the only university with campuses and headquarters based in the Highlands and Islands. Its mission is to strengthen and develop the social, economic and cultural prospects of the region. It uses a blend of learning methods, including traditional classroom face-to-face teaching, video-conferencing tutorials and lectures and virtual learning environments and other IT media.
The University of the Highlands and Islands is a limited company registered in Scotland No. 148203. Scottish charity No. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ.