Scotland’s Higher Education Minister Jamie Hepburn MSP visited the University of Stirling today (March 7) to join students back on campus and seal a time capsule at the newly completed Campus Central development.
As students return to in-person classes, the Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training toured the recently opened £23m building and sealed the time capsule, which signals the three-year project’s completion.
The capsule contains a number of Covid-related items such as a face mask, safety signage such as ‘Desk not in use’ and a box of lateral flow tests, which will be buried under Campus Central as the University community looks ahead to a future beyond the pandemic.
As part of his visit, the Minister toured the new three-storey centre at the heart of the University, which provides a new home for the Student Services Hub, the Macrobert Arts Centre’s box office, the Institute for Advanced Studies and more digitally connected study and social spaces, right at the heart of the campus.
University Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, said: “It’s a pleasure to see so many students back on campus, making the most of our new Campus Central facilities. The new spaces enhance the student experience, and equip the University for the dynamic teaching and learning of the future. I am delighted that the Minister has been able to experience a little of what the University of Stirling has to offer.
“The time capsule will record this unique chapter in the University’s history, as we emerge, more resilient, from the pandemic, and start to make the most of being together again on our beautiful campus.”
Vice-President (Education) of the University of Stirling Students’ Union, Calum Brown, had the idea of creating a new time capsule, after hearing about one uncovered by builders during the construction of the new Sports Centre, in January 2019. That one, from 1969, contained sporting relics, old photographs and a bottle of whisky.
A snapshot of history
Students and staff submitted suggestions for a new capsule, and a subgroup, overseen by University archivist Karl Magee, made a final selection. As well as pandemic-related objects, other items include a squirrel mascot soft toy, a copy of student newspaper Brig and a Students’ Union rainbow lanyard.
Mr Brown said: “I think we are capturing a unique point in history, with student learning spaces expanding and Campus Central being completed despite the difficulties of Covid-19. Students have faced significant challenges, and anyone who has studied through the pandemic should be proud of themselves.”
Mr Hepburn also visited the new Sports Centre at , training home to Olympic swimmers Duncan Scott and Kathleen Dawson, as well as curlers Mili Smith, Hailey Duff, Ross Whyte and Bobby Lammie, fresh from success in Beijing, and Paralympians Hugh Nibloe and Scott Meenagh, currently competing at the Winter Games.
Celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week
At the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the Minister also met Graduate Apprentice Duncan Hayward, who is completing a Data Science degree whilst carrying out an apprenticeship with local e-commerce business Optiseller, along with Programme Convenor Dr Mario Kolberg. The provides an opportunity to combine employment in a relevant field while learning the latest data science techniques from the University’s leading researchers.
Following the sealing of the time capsule, it will be buried in a yet-to-be-determined location underneath Campus Central, freezing early 2022 in time.
Contents of Campus Central time capsule (February 2022)
Fifty – the University of Stirling in 50 objects. Book published by the University of Stirling in 2017 to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
University of Stirling Strategic Plan, 2016-2021.
University of Stirling Strategic Plan, Addendum 2021-2023
University of Stirling Postgraduate Prospectus 2020
Stirling Minds, University magazine for alumni, staff and friends, 2020/21
Your Stirling, Celebrating Philanthropy – News for donors, ambassadors and friends, 2020
University of Stirling Students’ Union Handbook, 2021-2022
University of Stirling Students’ Union rainbow lanyard
Brig, Stirling’s student newspaper, Vol. 52, Issue 1, 1 December 2021
Brig, Stirling’s student newspaper, Vol. 52, Issue 2, 9 February 2022
Colour photograph: campus drone shot with Wallace monument in background (photographer: Scotdrone, taken Sunday 18 October 2020)
Colour photograph: campus drone shot with new Sports Centre in foreground (photographer: Scotdrone, taken Friday 18 September 2020)
Campus COVID safety signage: Be safe – please keep windows open to aid ventilation
Campus COVID safety signage: Daily sign-in – Thank you for registering your attendance
Campus COVID safety signage: Keep left – Please keep a safe distance floor vinyl
Campus COVID safety signage: Laminated NHS Scotland sign ‘How to hand wash step by step images’
Campus COVID safety signage: Laminated NHS Scotland Coronavirus Got symptoms – even mild ones? sign
Campus COVID safety signage: Laminated Temperature Check Station sign
Campus COVID safety signage: Face covering poster
Campus COVID safety signage: Desk not in use stickers
Campus COVID safety signage: Be safe – please use the wipes provided to wipe down surfaces poster
Cloth face mask featuring illustration of Stirling
University of Stirling squirrel (soft toy)University of Stirling Christmas Card 2021. Printed by the Pathfoot Press and featuring a poem by Laura Fyfe, Stirling’s makar
Envelope containing messages written by University of Stirling students to future students of the university (collected in the University Library, November 2021, 12 messages)
University of Stirling Library Map, 2021-2022
Leaflet for the University of Stirling Art Collection
Macrobert Arts Centre, Live Events brochure, January – May 2022
First Midland Unilink bus timetable
Copy of Stirling Observer, February 2022
Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test – box containing test equipment and instruction booklet
NHS Scotland – What to expect after the Covid-19 vaccine leaflet
NHS Scotland – Coronavirus (Covid-19) information leaflet
NHS Scotland Test and Protect leaflet with letter from Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland (June 2020)
NHS Scotland – A Guide to NHS Scotland Services leaflet with letter from Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland (January 2021)
NHS Scotland – Important information, Protect yourself against Covid-19 leaflet with letter from Chief Nursing Officer, Interim Chief Medical Officer and National Clinical Director (January 2021)
UK Government – Coronavirus, Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives leaflet with letter from Boris Johnson, Prime Minster of the United Kingdom (undated)
Pizza Hut – Stay at home we’ve got you covered leaflet