By Gary Flockhart
Tuesday October 20, 2020
Dr Leyla Hussein OBE has been elected as rector at the University of St Andrews – making history as the first black woman to hold this position.
Dr Leyla Hussein OBE has been elected as Rector at the University of St Andrews (Image: University of St Andrews)
Dr Hussein’s appointment comes just months after the education hub's principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, issued an apology and admitted they had been failing BAME students.
In June, Prof Mapstone said the university was aiming to break down barriers and become far more inclusive.
“We know that for decades, St Andrews hasn’t got this right, that we’ve let down our BAME students and staff, and that our university has been, and continues to be, so much the poorer for it,” she said.
“On behalf of this institution, I apologise for that.
“Acknowledging that injustice, understanding what we are and have been doing to right it, and where we must all play a part in enabling structural change, is an absolutely fundamental step in our reform.”
Dr Hussein is a Somali-born British psychotherapist and an international lecturer on Female Genital Mutilation and gender rights.
She was awarded an OBE in the 2019 Birthday Honours list for services to tackling FGM.
The newly elected rector tweeted: “I’m excited to have been elected as the new Rector for St Andrews University; history has been made today.
“I’m the first black woman to hold this position. Thank you to my fantastic campaigning team. Change is coming.”
St Andrews University tweeted: "Congratulations to @LeylaHussein who has just been elected as the new Rector of the University of St Andrews. #EvertoExcel.”