The candidates for the 2015 University of Edinburgh rectorial elections were announced on 15 January.
After a two-month nomination period, two candidates nominated themselves, with the support of 20 students, for the prestigious role.
The candidates are Steve Morrison, former chief executive of Granada TV and founder of AllThreeMedia, and Peter McColl, the current rector of the university and a Green Party activist, blogger and parliamentary candidate.
The candidates can now campaign freely across campus within a budget of £400.
The election will be held online via the MyEd portal on 10 and 11 February and the deadline for the postal votes is February 5.
Steve Morrison was the first ever student to run for rector. He ran an unsuccessful campaign in the 1968 election whilst still an undergraduate.
After completing his undergraduate degree, he then attended the National Film and Television School, joined Granada Television in 1974, forming Granada Film which won two Oscars for My Left Foot.
He became Director of Programmes and then Chief Executive of Granada. He then founded All3Media, which became Britain’s largest independent TV production group.
In his candidate statement Morrison has pledged to help build “an education fit for the future” by “Preparing for the digital era, [with] more connection between Arts and Technology, Science and Social Science and opportunities to take hybrid courses.”
His statement also included a broad commitment to student satisfaction, including a ‘Personal Pathway’ between students and tutors. Also, Morrison hopes to retain free access to university education for Scottish students and to pursue low cost housing for all students.
Morrison has been connected with the university through various channels.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate and currently sits on the advisory board of the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).
Since graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2003, Peter McColl has spent most of his time as a Green party activist and is the founder of the Bright Green blog.
He was assessor to Mark Ballard during his term as Rector of the University from 2006–09, and was involved in the campaigns to elect both Robin Harper and Sir Tam Dalyell as Rector.
McColl has spent his last three years as the rector of the university and is the Green Party candidate for Edinburgh East in the 2015 general election.
Speaking to The Student, McColl explained why he was seeking re-election: “In my time as Rector I’ve seen what an enormous advantage the position is for Edinburgh University.
The Rector ensures that the voice of students and staff is heard at the top levels of the University. As the Chair of the University’s governing body (the Court), the Rector gives student and staff concerns a high profile in the University.
“Over the past three years, I’ve worked hard to make sure that teaching is a priority for the University.
While there is a long way to go on feedback, a lot of work is under way. I want to make sure that you get the best teaching and feedback.”
McColl’s statement claims that he is running for a second term to ‘continue the fight for staff and students.’
His key platforms include the introduction of fairer housing through a rent cap and tenants’ union; and securing greater levels of investment in teaching quality and feedback.