Aamer Anwar installed as Rector
Aamer Anwar installed as Rector
Issued: Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:07:00 BST
The prominent Scottish human rights lawyer, Aamer Anwar, has been formally installed as Rector of the University of Glasgow.
Mr Anwar, a UofG graduate, took office in front of a large audience of staff, students and guests in a ceremony in the Bute Hall.
He was victorious in student elections in March, receiving 4,458 votes from the 8,210 votes cast overall. He faced competition from eleven other candidates under the single transferable vote system.
In an at times emotional address to a packed Bute Hall, Mr Anwar paid tribute to his family for their support and encouragement in his early life and during his career. He said he counted his time at the University of Glasgow from 1986 to 1994 as some of the best years of his life. He said: "I had my mind blown away by this University! It changed the entire course of my life. Glasgow gave me more than just an education. It's where I made friendships that have lasted a lifetime; it broke down my religious, cultural and political barriers. I learned about politics not just through books, but through activism and solidarity."
And in a direct message to the student community, Mr Anwar said: "If there's one message I want students to take home today, it is never be afraid to raise your voice for the truth."
The current SRC President, Ameer Ibrahim, in his address to the audience, welcomed the new Rector and congratulated him on winning what he said had been a "colourful" campaign. Mr Ibrahim continued: "Your role as Rector will no doubt be followed by an innumerable number of challenges along the way, but I would now like to refer to some certainties that will progress during your tenure.
"With our University about to embark on a capital development on the former Western Infirmary Site that will see over £1 billion of expenditure over the coming years, we welcome you to ensure investment into the current student experience is maintained; with Brexit, we welcome you to fight alongside students, representatives, and the University to ensure that Glasgow maintains itself as an international institution that will support our EU Community alongside others through government consultations and negotiations going forward; with uncertainty over further referendums, inner turmoil within our democratically elected U.K. Parliament, we welcome you to push to ensure that students as a demographic are not undermined or undervalued and receive continued support from our public services and wider society; with pressures on our Counselling and Psychological Services, and a limited extended commitment from the NHS with increasing waiting times across the board, we welcome you to push forward with an agenda to ensure support is extended around these areas with tangible resource investment, and further preventative care; and lastly, but not exhaustively, we welcome you to ensure the Institution continues to support, financially and otherwise, our four Student Bodies - the SRC, GUSA, GUU, and QMU - that support and create the experience for our students here at Glasgow, within our historically unique structure."
The Rector is elected by the students of the University to represent their interests. He or she is also, ex-officio, the Chairperson of the University Court, the body which administers the resources of the University.
The Rector is not active in University strategy or policy-making. The role is principally as spokesperson and representative for student issues. The Rector's participation in events is entirely voluntary and depends on their own availability and choice.