Cultural engagement

The pandemic couldn’t stop the music as our hugely successful Celtic Connections on Campus series of concerts kicked off the New Year – going online for the first time.  

Emerging student musicians from across Scotland teamed up with GCU’s BSc Audio Technology and BSc Audio Systems Engineering students to present the series of concerts for the sixth year.  

The GCU Choir came together online, too, to perform for the University community. On the repertoire alongside pop, traditional Scots songs, sea shanties, and hits from the musicals, was A Song of Hope written by choir member Elena Ndosala, reflecting on her experiences over the year.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston and music legend Midge Ure joined forces for a special event supporting students hit hardest by the pandemic. In the online event, When Martin met Midge, hosted by the award-winning broadcaster Jennifer Reoch, our honorary graduates shared stories from their careers and spoke for the first time about Martin’s portrayal of Midge in the comedy-drama Urban Myths.

The GCU Foundation event raised money for The Common Good Campaign, launched with the backing of Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, to support students with limited access to income or family support.

Martin Compston with Jennifer Reoch and Midge Ure

A star graduate of GCU's MA TV Fiction Writing returned to the University as a lecturer to help develop the next generation of UK screenwriters. Mark Stevenson, whose credits include EastEnders, Casualty and River City, joined the team delivering the only full-time masters dedicated to writing television drama. 

Dr Catriona Miller got her teeth into the work of New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. Dr Miller, senior lecturer in media and TV scriptwriting at GCU, took part in a panel discussion with Harris about her literary career, during which she has sold more than 30million books, including the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasies that inspired the smash-hit HBO television series True Blood. 

The University boasted the busiest hub in Scotland at the annual Global Game Jam. The GCU community joined thousands of game designers around the world for the weekend-long event, which saw designers create games against the clock.

Emeritus Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Olympic Laurel at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. The Nobel Laureate was just the second recipient of the award, introduced in 2016 by The International Olympic Committee to honour people who have "made significant achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport".

Professor Muhammad Yunus

Sustainable style was centre stage at GCU's Fashion Showcase. The online event featured catwalk designs including customised vintage clothing, looks reimagining existing garments, and new products made from world-famous Harris Tweed, as well as a creative exhibition, and a panel discussion on fashion’s future featuring Great British Sewing Bee judge Professor Patrick Grant and retail industry expert Professor Jane Shepherdson CBE.

We partnered with Valencia to showcase how effective design can drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development as the city prepared for its reign as World Design Capital in 2022. Cities designated World Design Capital must demonstrate the impact of design in pursuing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and GCU is one of just two UK universities supporting the Spanish city in the event.

Research by Dr Fiona Skillen, and sports historian Steve Bolton, inspired Scotland's biggest ever exhibition on the history of women's football. The story of Rutherglen Ladies FC, an interwar side that defied a ban on women's football to pave the way for today's professional stars, now features in the Scottish Football Museum.

Rose Reilly MBE, Scotland's greatest female footballer and a GCU honorary graduate, joined Eddi Reader, singer-songwriter and granddaughter of the team’s captain Sadie Smith, at the exhibition’s launch at Hampden.

Rose Reilly MBE with Eddi Reader