Minister Joins International Students’ Christmas Lunch

December 24, 2018 by No Comments | Category Universities

Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead got into the Christmas spirit at a festive lunch with an international twist.

Christmas arrived early at Queen Margaret University as international students came together before heading home to the four corners of the globe. Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead joined the students for the festivities and also met with Saltire Scholar Paige Goodman and Deputy Principal Dr Richard Butt.


The annual Christmas lunch gathers international students, research staff and academics in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to mark the end of exams and the start of the holidays. For many, it was their first opportunity to experience a Scottish Christmas meal and a chance to swap stories of their own festive traditions.

Over a hearty Christmas roast, the Minister listened and learned about students’ experiences of studying and living in Scotland, as well as some of their concerns for the future after Brexit.

The Minister reassured his lunch companions that Scotland will continue to welcome international students, recognising the important and valuable contribution they make to the Scottish economy and the education landscape.

Students applauded the Minister’s clear commitment to protecting international students and researchers in the future and were reassured that the Scottish Government is working hard to address the risks posed by Brexit to the further and higher education landscape.


The Christmas lunch also gave students the chance meet Saltire Scholar recipients. The scheme allows Scottish universities, in partnership with the Scottish Government, to promote Scotland and its higher education sector to young international talent.

Speaking about her experience as a Saltire Scholar, Paige Goodman said:

“The scholarship has taken a financial weight off my shoulders and I’ll have more freedom to travel next semester, not only to see more of Scotland but other parts of Europe and Asia too.

“One of the best experiences I’ve had in Scotland so far was attending a Saltire Scholar event back in October. There I met other international Masters students who are studying at universities all over the country. I now have friends to visit in Glasgow, St Andrews and Aberdeen, so aside from financial support, the Saltire Scholarship has given me a network of like-minded students who are in the same boat as me.”

Read more about Saltire Scolarship here.



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