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University recognises work of Gaelic and Celtic academic and writer

A Skye academic and celebrated poet has been made a Professor by the University of the Highlands and Islands. Meg Bateman was awarded the title in recognition of her contribution to scholarship and research in Celtic and Gaelic studies.

Based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture and one of the academic partners of the university, Professor Bateman is an authority on Celtic and Scottish literature as well as an internationally published writer and poet. Having studied and taught at Aberdeen University, achieving a doctorate in classical Gaelic religious poetry, Professor Bateman moved to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI in 1998, attracted by the prospect of tertiary education coming to the Highlands. 

The university’s principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Clive Mulholland, said: “The title of professor is the highest level of academic achievement which can be awarded. It is reserved for individuals who are recognised as leaders in their field and have demonstrated excellence in their work. Professor Bateman has made an immense contribution to scholarship and research in Celtic and Gaelic studies. Her outstanding academic record is a great asset to the university and we are delighted to make this award in recognition of her contribution and dedication.”

Speaking about her new title, Professor Bateman said: “It feels consolidating of past efforts and like a vote of confidence for things to come.  Our principal, Boyd Robertson, who nominated me, said that the award was like a Christmas present for Sabhal Mòr; it certainly is for my 90 year old mother! My thanks to the University of the Highlands and Islands for the encouragement; I hope I will live up to your expectations.”

Professor Boyd Robertson, principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, added: “In addition to her academic prowess, Professor Bateman has an international reputation as a poet and writer. She is undoubtedly one of the leading poets in Scotland. She adds lustre to the college and university and I am delighted that her sterling service has been recognised with this award.”

Professor Bateman composed a poem, written specially for the celebration of the new University of the Highlands and Islands at an event in Inverness in 2011. ‘Let the Northern Land Shine’ brings to life the mission of the university, and its place in one of the most beautiful and diverse parts of the world.  It was read in Gaelic, Scots and English.

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