Universities Scotland has today, Tuesday 5 August, revealed that 19 Scottish university students and graduates won medals for Team Scotland during the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The student and graduate athletes brought home a total of 23 medals between them, including eight Gold, nine Silver and six Bronze.
An analysis published as the Games got underway in Glasgow revealed that 113 athletes in the 310-strong Team Scotland, or 37%, have links to Scottish universities. The student and graduate athletes more than pulled their weight as they contributed 40% of Team Scotland's medal haul.
The results mean that if Scotland's university students and graduates had competed as a team during the Games they would have finished in 11th position in the medal table, above Singapore and Malaysia, countries with populations of 5.3 million and 29.2 million respectively.
Eleven universities from across Scotland can boast XX Commonwealth Games medal winners amongst their student and graduate ranks.
Medal winners include University of Aberdeen graduate Neil Fachie, who picked up two Gold for para sport cycling and time trial and sprint; Heriot-Watt University's Stephanie Inglis, who is studying towards her MSc International Business won Silver in Judo; University of Stirling Sport and Exercise Science student Ross Murdoch, who won Gold and Bronze medals in swimming events; Team Scotland captain Flag Bearer and University of Edinburgh graduate Euan Burton who won Gold in Judo; and University of Strathclyde graduate Aileen McGlynn, who won two Silver medals for para sport cycling and time trial and sprint.
In April, Aileen McGlynn was part of the judging panel for the Game Changer Awards which celebrated the broad range of contributions made by Scotland's colleges and universities to the success of the Games in Glasgow and its legacy.
Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling and Convener of Universities Scotland's University Games Group, said:
"The XX Commonwealth Games were a fantastic success for Glasgow and the whole of Scotland. Staff and students at Scotland's universities were right behind Team Scotland and we are delighted to see so many of our students and graduates excel on the world stage, breaking records and winning medals. That so many of our nation's top athletes have also pursued a Scottish higher education is testament to the quality of facilities and support on offer from our universities. Many student athletes also benefit from Winning Students scholarships, providing tailored support and academic flexibility.
"Earlier this year we highlighted how our support for a successful competition in Glasgow touches every aspect of the Games, from the research behind physical endurance and performance, the management and organisation skills needed to smoothly run a large-scale global event, to encouraging people of all ages in Scotland to be healthier and more active. Scotland's universities will continue to contribute towards a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games as we help to make Scotland smarter, fairer and healthier."
Open University students and mixed-doubles duo Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair won Bronze at the Games. They are supported by the Winning Students scholarships. Imogen said:
"I enjoy studying through The Open University as it gives me a focus outside of my badminton, and I enjoy learning while I have some time away from training. Being a student and playing badminton at this level isn't easy, but I wouldn't have one without the other and selection for ‘Winning Students' has allowed me to do both well."