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Students at UHI Inverness 'grill' Highland MSP on Rwanda issues, trans rights and SNP policy

By Niall Harkiss

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Social Sciences students at UHI Inverness were given the chance to "grill" a local politician when Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick visited the campus.

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick with some of the students who attended her talk. Photo: UHI Inverness
Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick with some of the students who attended her talk. Photo: UHI Inverness


Ms Roddick was invited to talk to the HNC Social Sciences and NC Social Science level 6 classes by Tracy Kennedy, depute curriculum leader of arts, drama and humanities.

The students made the most of the opportunity and questioned her on a number of topical issues, including her thoughts on the Rwanda policy, her stance on trans rights and how she approaches dealing with proposed SNP policy that she may not entirely agree.

She was also asked more personal questions about what made her go into politics, how she copes with her disability and the need for a diverse parliament to ensure politics is more accessible.

It was the SNP MSP's first visit to the UHI Inverness campus since Covid and she welcomed the opportunity to engage with students in their own learning environment.

Emma Roddick.
Emma Roddick.

Ms Roddick, who lives in Inverness, said: “I am really aware that when we are talking to young people engaged in politics, we see the same faces coming forward, and we don’t generally hear from the general populous of young people.

"They are not hard to reach, we know where these groups are; they are in the colleges, universities and schools and it is always good to come to speak to them in their own spaces, such as UHI Inverness.

“It was fantastic to engage with the students, as we know our young people have vast and valuable experiences they can bring into politics, and there is clearly much potential and enthusiasm in the Highlands and Islands.”

Ms Kennedy said: “The students really enjoyed chatting to Emma. They described her as inspiring, open and honest - something they feel is often missing in politics today.

"Speakers like Emma coming to talk to the students not only helps to demystify politics for a generation that are often disengaged from politics, but it also encourages those that are thinking about a career in politics to take that consideration to the next stage.

“Speakers bring a topic alive, and Emma certainly brought a vibrancy and openness to politics that the students responded well to. We are very grateful to Emma for coming to speak to us.”

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