Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Wendy Alexander, today emphasised the role of building international links in strengthening Scotland's communities and economy. Ms Alexander was speaking in Skye on a visit to Scotland's Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, which sees its worldwide links as a vital part of the learning opportunities it delivers. Theses include a special relationship between the College and the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig also forms a key part of the UHI Millennium Institute, offering alternative forms of learning for rural and remote communities. Sabhal Mòr is unique as a specialist college working to promote the Gaelic language and culture.
Ms Alexander said,
"Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is maturing into a genuinely confident institution, with clear ideas about its future direction and with diverse, able and well motivated students. It is unique in providing further and higher education delivered in Gaelic for which it was recognised by the Executive in our Programme for Government. It is making a major contribution to the revival of Gaelic.
"The College has demonstrated its commitment to building relationships around the world, successfully attracting students from a range of countries including North America and Germany. The National Centre for Migration Studies opening next year, has the potential to attract those tracing their ancestry and provides the opportunity to tap into the growing popularity in genealogy tourism.
"I've been impressed by what I've seen today - not only does Sabhal Mòr make an invaluable contribution to the local economy, its ambitious work supports the Executive's determination to ensure the continued vitality of the Gaelic language and culture."