Archbishop welcomes relaunch date for postgrad courses at Gillis

The UK's leading Catholic University will relaunch its postgraduate course programme at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh, in September 2021.

Archbishop Cushley welcomed today's announcement from St Mary's University to delay entry as he renewed the Archdiocese's commitment to helping people deepen their faith and knowledge through courses such as Theology and Leadership in Catholic Education.

A statement released today by St Mary's University said: "Following its February 2020 announcement that St Marys University would begin to deliver postgraduate courses at the historic Gillis Centre in Edinburgh beginning September 2020, the decision has been taken to postpone this initiative until September 2021 as a consequence of the Coronavirus crisis (COVID-19). This decision was taken with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh."

Archbishop Cushley said: “The health and safety of staff and students are of paramount importance. We remain committed to ensuring the success of this venture with St Mary’s University and look forward to welcoming the first students there in 2021.”

Bishop Richard Moth, chair of the St Mary’s University Board of Governors, said: “I’d like to thank the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh for their on-going commitment to this project.

"This development is in accord with St Mary’s mission as a Catholic university. We are proud to be bringing postgraduate courses to the Gillis Centre and are committed to ensuring the success of our partnership with Archdiocese.”

Anthony McClaran, Vice-Chancellor of St Marys University, added: “The decision to postpone entry to 2021 was taken with the student experience at its heart.

"We are proud to have this opportunity to bring postgraduate study to the Gillis Centre, in partnership with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. We have been encouraged by the number of prospective students who has been in contact so far and we will be in close contact with them to ensure they are able to begin studying with us next year. We look forward to continuing our preparations to welcome students in 2021.”

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VIDEO: Catholic schools backed by MSPs

Politicians across Scotland have backed Catholic schools in a powerful show of cross-party support at Holyrood.

They discussed the 'positive contribution' of Catholic education to Scotland since the foundation of the 1918 Education act, following a motion made by Elaine Smith MSP.

They also unanimously dispelled the myth that Catholic schools in Scotland are a cause off sectarianism.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “It is vital that our support for Catholic education is expressed without equivocation and I do so positively and enthusiastically in parliament this evening.

"The Scottish Government remains an unequivocal supporter of Catholic education — we value the contribution Catholic schools and faith schools make and we are absolutely determined to ensure that this tradition is maintained in Scotland as a vital element of the Scottish education system.”

Other MSPs who spoke included SNP MSPs Richard Lyle, Annabelle Ewing, Fulton MacGregor, John Mason and Clare Adamson, Labour MSPs Jackie Bailie and Iain Gray, and Conservative MSP Liz Smith.

Archbishop Cushley watched the event from the public gallery and was joined by pupils from St Augustine’s High School, St Thomas of Aquin’s High School and Holyrood High School.

Full coverage of the event by the Scottish Catholic Observer can be read here.