Steve is new rector at seat of learning

Steve Morrison is carried shoulder high by students. Picture: Jane Barlow

Steve Morrison is carried shoulder high by students. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A TELEVISION producer and broadcaster has been inaugurated as the new rector of Edinburgh University during a ceremony attended by the Princess Royal.

Steve Morrison was born in Glasgow on March 3, 1947.

He came to Edinburgh in 1965 to read politics and holds both an undergraduate degree and an honorary doctorate in social science from the university.

He was the first student to run for rector in 1969.

Following his studies, Mr Morrison attended the National Film and Television School and became a radio producer with BBC Scotland.

He then joined Granada Television in 1974, before forming Granada Film, which won two Oscars with My Left Foot – the story of an Irishman born with cerebral palsy, who could control only his left foot.

Mr Morrison rose through the ranks at Granada, becoming the director of programmes and then chief executive.

When he left the company, he remained in the industry, founding All3Media, Britain’s largest independent television production group, employing hundreds of staff.

Mr Morrison was instrumental in the formation of the campaign group Third World First, which went on to become the anti-poverty organisation People and Planet. He currently sits on the advisory board of Edinburgh College of Art.

The producer behind the Horrible Histories series was named the new rector of Edinburgh University after an election in February.

He took 62 per cent of the vote, beating a challenge from the then-incumbent rector Peter McColl.

At the time, he said: “I am delighted university staff and students have supported my vision for the future of education in the modern world.”

His inauguration yesterday was attended by the chancellor of the university, Princess Anne.

During his speech, Mr Morrison called on students to use their time at university to equip themselves with the skills that will be required in the changing world of the digital economy.

He told students that Edinburgh University had all the educational tools that they required to do this and that they should take every advantage of their four-year term.

Mr Morrison also expressed concern at the current Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill that has been introduced in the Scottish Parliament.

He said he was concerned that one of the effects of the Bill in its present form would be the removal of the historic positions of rectors from the ancient Scottish universities.

Mr Morrison said he intends to argue that the other Scottish universities should follow the Edinburgh model of the chair of the University Court, the universities’ highest governing body being elected by all staff and students.