Life-Changing Day at Newbattle Abbey College

Saturday 1st of September 2018: Newbattle Abbey College Awards Ceremony

Saturday 1st September will be a day to remember for students at Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian. The annual Awards Ceremony took place and certificates, diplomas and awards were presented by the Principal of the College, Marian Docherty. The students graduated across a wide range of disciplines including Arts and Social Sciences, Rural Skills and Celtic Studies.

Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal, Queen Margaret University gave the keynote address reflecting the growing partnership between the two institutions. He reflected on the university’s namesake, Queen Margaret of Scotland and encouraged the graduates to follow her lead in striving for social justice.
The event also saw a number of awards presented to outstanding students including the Margaret Teale Award to celebrate distanced travelled on the learning journey, won by Lauren Wilson. Lauren managed to overcome mental health issues to produce a high standard of work.
The Ann Kettle Award for contribution to College life went to Stacey Geldhill. Stacey was the Student Representative Council president for 2017 -18 and was an excellent voice for the students, representing their views and supporting her fellow students.
Ross Bain a Newbattle alumnus returned to share his experience of life after College. Ross was part of the first cohort on the HNC Social Sciences (an associate degree with QMU) and he recently graduated with a 1st class Honours degree in Psychology and Sociology from Queen Margaret University. He spoke of how Newbattle had changed his life for the better and how much support he received from his tutors and the guidance staff. Ross also praised QMU for continuing with this supportive environment throughout his degree programme.

Reflecting on the day, College Principal Marian Docherty said,
“Our annual Awards Ceremony celebrates the success of our students and the support they have received from staff, families and friends. It is always a happy and uplifting event, particularly when our students realise how much they have progressed in all kinds of ways.

Newbattle continues to develop exciting new programmes for adults and younger learners. These include an Access to Primary Education course, run in partnership with Queen Margaret University and our unique Adult Achievement Awards and Forest & Outdoor Learning Awards.

We have an exciting year ahead for the College with many developments and innovations which will take our work into new and exciting territories. But it doesn’t change the fact that at the heart of our work is the life changing force of learning.”

For further information on this release please contact:
Donna Mackie at or call Donna on 0131 663 1921

Background Information

  • Newbattle Abbey College is Scotland’s national adult education residential college, set within an historic 16th century building and 125 acres of ancient woodland and parkland. The college has a proven track record of meeting the needs of adults and young people at points of transition and of helping people change their lives for the better.
  • The college operates under a Governing Deed of Trust and the Trustees include the Principals and Vice Chancellors of Scotland’s ancient universities.
  • The college is committed to achieving the best possible results for students, staff and stakeholders in order to deliver the vision as Scotland’s Life–changing College.
  • The college plays a strategic national role in promoting adult learning through extensive collaboration with a wide range of partners to promote inclusion and progression.
  • The college is the national accreditation centre for the Adult Achievement Awards and the new Forest and Outdoor Learning Awards.