University forging German links

The University is honouring a leading German politician at a historic event in Berlin.

David McAllister, Prime Minister of Lower Saxony - whose father was Scottish - will receive an honorary degree as part of the University’s General Council meeting, which is being held in Germany for the first time.

The award is in recognition of Mr McAllister’s work to further European integration and energy co-operation.

I am to receive a great tribute today: the University of Edinburgh is giving me an honorary doctorate. I should like to take this opportunity of saying thank you to everyone involved. I am deeply grateful.

David McAllisterPrime Minister of Lower Saxony

General Council

The General Council plays an advisory role to the University Court, which is the supreme governing body of the University.

All graduates automatically become members of the General Council, which regularly meets to oversee University affairs.

The University is holding its General Council meeting in Berlin this year as it seeks to build closer links with Germany. German-based Edinburgh graduates are set to take part in the events held to mark the historic occasion.

In previous years, the University has held General Council meetings in Washington DC and Hong Kong in order to engage worldwide alumni in its activities.

For more information on the General Council, see:

Video interview

In this video interview, Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice Principal Public Policy, explains the importance of the University's links with Germany, and current students share their experiences of studying German.

Berlin events

In addition to receiving his degree, Mr McAllister will deliver a lecture, entitled "A Strong Europe - A Positive Future for Great Britain and Germany”.

In addition, the University will hold a panel debate on the challenges facing the UK, Germany and the Eurozone, with speakers including former UK Foreign Secretary and Edinburgh alumnus, Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

The German capital, famed for its significance during the Cold War, will also host a speech on Saturday by Edinburgh graduate Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5.

Dame Stella will talk about the changing face of the British security services.

The University of Edinburgh and the UK have very strong ties with Germany, and I am delighted that we are able to celebrate these not only by holding the General Council meeting in Berlin, but also by recognising David McAllister. Mr McAllister has sought the closer working of Europe’s politicians, for the benefit of us all.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaUniversity of Edinburgh Principal and Vice-Chancellor

University and Germany

In the last academic year, over 450 German students studied at the University, more students than from any other non-UK European nation. The University also partners with many different German institutions on student exchange programmes.

The University’s German department has over 250 students, and most of its research is considered world-leading.

Notable Edinburgh links with Germany include the work of Max Born, the Nobel Prize-winning founding father of quantum mechanics, who taught at both Edinburgh and Humboldt University.