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I CAN’T be the only person in Moray wondering how much worse things have got to become before they start getting better.Cari Watterton (left) and Erin Stevenson (right) introducing their game, The Monster after Midnight at the Moray Game Jam. Picture: Beth Taylor
Having said that, there’s been no shortage of inspiring events on campus recently to keep our spirits up and remind us how many great things happen here.
The ‘Public Playground’ part of the Moray Game Jam brought a real buzz to our conference area with people young and old checking out the computer and board games created by the 15 competing teams.
This week we hosted around 140 pupils from 15 primary schools to showcase their construction skills projects, and we’ve also been celebrating Brodie Linklater’s recent success as Scotland’s Horticulture Apprentice of the Year.
Next week we hold our second ever Hospitality Festival, with great demonstrations of skills and opportunities in that industry.
We do some pretty amazing things here in terms of skills development, but these have got me thinking how we give visibility to other developments that are not so obvious.
That’s the conversation I had this week with some of our Social Science team. How can we give equal prominence to the success of their students?
Social science is the study of society, and of individuals relationships and behaviour with and in it. Right now, feels like a really important time for students to understand themselves, and the world they live in.
For some it’s a revelation that the things they struggle with in their own lives are society-wide problems.
Our curriculum is designed to build critical thinking, to challenge students to look beyond the obvious.
But what does that mean in practical terms for them? How have their skills developed?
Well, our first-year level 5 students say that understanding the science around sleeping and society pressures has changed their sleep habits, for the better.
They also think their study of ‘conformity’ in society has given them a better understanding of how to deal with certain pressures after Covid. They feel more confident.
Our students have visits from local councillors and MSPs to discuss current social issues.
They get out and about in Moray to better understand both the problems and the opportunities for volunteering to help make things better.
They see both the local and the global picture. They’ve set up a ‘cost-of-living’ social enterprise Swap Shop in our AGBC café area where people can make and take donations of clothing etc. for free. And they also take part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign each year to highlight human rights violations around the world.
Our staff are also keen to engage in best practice work. One is currently developing new learning materials targeted for autistic learners; another is engaged in a research project for on-line learning; while a third is undertaking post-graduate study in International Humanitarian Affairs.
Our Social Science students can end up working in almost any sector where you need to have an empathic understanding of people and life.
Of all the many great skills our students learn at UHI Moray, perhaps the most important are to be curious, and to make a difference.Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print. DAVID PATTERSON: Our curious students are determined to make a difference
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