Now I have a lot to thank St. Andrews for, not least of which is that two Graduates of that institution have provided me two gorgeous nephews. But I ended up at a Polytechnic originally before coming away with a University degree when Kingston moved from one status to the other. I agree with Dr Ian Johnston's comments that the majority of the mainly vocational courses are externally professionally accredited, and so offer a good route to employment. As Willie Rennie MP for Dunfermline and West Fife also says:
'The institutions have a good reputation for their partnerships with industry and for improving the life opportunities of thousands of people of all ages and from a wide diversity of backgrounds.
'In fact I would argue that Paisley and Glasgow Colleges gave a bigger lift or added value to their students than those institutions that Mr Kerr thinks are only worthy of any consideration.'
Indeed I do recall that at the end of my first term of University comparing notes with some of my school friends who were also studying Economics elsewhere, including St. Andrews. As we were only studying one course and not the other lines of study that the University's insisted on we'd actually covered more in that first three months than they would encounter in their first year.
As Willie says thankfully not all people associated with the ancient Universities think that way. But there are a number of people that they churn out that think deriding the newer Universities is a matter of jest, that they can be make 'light-hearted' comments about. The people who attend such places often don't have the privileges that many of the ancient Graduates have had. It's hardly surprising that even during my brother's time at St. Andrews there was a degree of social climbing that some people tried to do in that fine Fife institution. Aiming for acceptance by the 'Yahs' the group of those with received pronunciation, often Oxbridge rejects, was a goal for some.
The SNP are trying to wipe away this sort of comment as a one off joke, yet a BBC source said Kerr was always seen as "a bit arrogant" by colleagues. "He thinks other people aren't as intelligent as he is."
Is that sort of person really going to be best placed to serve the people of NE Glasgow?