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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Judy Murray getting honorary degree from Glasgow University

June 9 2016

The mother of tennis ace Andy Murray is to be awarded an honorary degree from Glasgow University. Judy Murray is being made a Doctor of the University in recognition of her contribution to tennis at grassroots and professional level. The coach is mother to both former Wimbledon champion Andy and his brother Jamie, a former world number one doubles player. She was a former national coach for Scotland and has previously been awarded honorary degrees from Stirling and Edinburgh universities. The 56-year-old is one of 22 people being honoured by Glasgow University at a ceremony on Wednesday June 15. Former Solicitor General for Scotland Lesley Thomson QC and the university's Professor Jim Hough, who fulfilled his lifelong quest to discover gravitational waves, are among the others. Scottish rugby stars are also being recognised, with former Scotland players John Beattie, Alastair Kellock and Gregor Townsend all receiving honorary degrees. Glasgow University principal Professor Anton Muscatelli said: "It is a privilege and honour for the university to confer honorary degrees on such outstanding men and women. "From our part in the discovery of gravitational waves, which the world celebrated in February, to achievements in sport and charitable ventures, to name but a few, we can truly be proud of the inspiring people around us." ends


Python star Terry Jones collects honorary degree from St Andrews University

June 26 2013

St Andrews University has honoured one of Britain’s most loved comedians at a graduation ceremony. Terry Jones, a member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in front of scores of International Relations graduates on Tuesday. Dr Chris Jones, who presented the honorary degree, said: “Monty Python changed British society fundamentally forever with its irreverent, anarchically surreal and iconoclastically anti-authoritarian humour that has given us so many catchphrases and images, now engrained in our culture. “Python is sometimes said to be to comedy what the Beatles were to pop music, and Jones is acknowledged, by the other members of the group, to be at the very heart of Monty Python.” Alongside his television success, Mr Jones has also had a successful career as a writer, penning a revolutionary reanalysis of Chaucer’s A Knights Tale, as well as The War on the War on Terror, a collection of articles attacking US intervention in the Middle East. Professor Christopher Brown CBE, an art historian, was also given an honorary degree at the ceremony. Professor Brown transformed the Ashmolean museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, while also being renowned as an expert on 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art. Presenting the honorary degree, Art History Professor Brendan Cassidy, said: “Christopher Brown has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to British cultural life and to scholarship. “He is not only one of the most distinguished and successful museum directors of his generation but also the pre-eminent British authority on Dutch and Flemish art of the 17th century.”


Dundee University to honour key V&A project supporter

June 9 2012

One of the leading players in the £45 million V&A project, global adventurer Mark Beaumont and renowned concert pianist Murray McLachlan are among the leading lights set to be to be honoured by Dundee University. Sir Mark Jones, who was director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London from 2001 to 2011, will receive an honorary degree from the institution during its graduation ceremonies later this month. The university is one of the partners in the Dundee project, which will see the creation of a design centre and exhibition space in an iconic building by the Tay. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the building is scheduled to open in 2015. Also among the 11 honorary degree recipients will be adventurer Mr Beaumont, who was born in Perthshire and went to Dundee High School. His exploits include cycling around the world and rowing to the North Pole. Dundee-born concert pianist Mr McLachlan will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, as will retired Dundee University professor Peter Howie, who played an important part in the development of its medical research and coined the slogan Help Dennis Beat The Menace for the cancer research appeal publicised by the Beano character. Fife-born Anne-Marie Rafferty, dean of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing in London, will also be honoured. The other recipients are scientists Professor Iain Mattaj, Dr Malcolm Skingle, Dr Bernard Pecoul, Professor Stephen O'Rahilly and Professor Peter Boyle, and South African judge Albie Sachs. University principal Professor Pete Downes said: ''Our honorary graduands reflect the vision and ambitions of the university itself, people who have transformed lives in the UK and around the world. ''All of our honorary graduands are among the highest achievers, clearest thinkers and most respected voices in their fields. They are an inspiration to all our students.''


Graduation day arrives at St Andrews and Dundee universities

June 19 2012

Years of study and hard work are about to pay off for thousands of students at St Andrews and Dundee universities. Today marks the start of the institutions' graduation ceremonies and each will be welcoming family and friends from all over the world to their campuses. It will also be an occasion to mark the achievements of distinguished figures from academia, the arts, business and the law with the awarding of honorary degrees. Today will see St Andrews award a DLitt to Professor Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics and one of the world's best known academics. The 83-year-old's accomplishments include major contributions to science, philosophy and history and he has written over 100 books. Prof Chomsky is also a noted critic of US foreign policy and contemporary capitalism. Also being honoured at today's ceremony in Younger Hall is author AS Byatt, who has won international success with her novels, including the Booker Prize-winning Possession, and her short stories and criticism. She was made a Dame in 1999. St Andrews will also be conferring an honorary degree this week on Dundee-born writer and stand-up comedian AL Kennedy. Its other honorary graduands are poet Paul Muldoon, science broadcaster Simon Singh, Professors Stanley Hoffman, Michele Parrinello, Elaine Showalter and Sir John Meurig Thomas, along with environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel, South Africa constitutional court Justice Edwin Cameron and Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson. Dundee University is taking the opportunity to honour 11 leading figures from Scotland and around the world at its ceremonies in Caird Hall. Today will see an honorary degree conferred on Sir Mark Jones, the former director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He has played a key role in the £45 million V&A at Dundee project, which will see an international design centre built on the banks of the Tay. The university is one of the partners in the project. Also receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree will be Perthshire-born adventurer Mark Beaumont, Dundee-born concert pianist Murray McLachlan and Justice Albie Sachs, who also hails from the constitutional court in South Africa. Academics professor Iain Mattaj, Dr Malcolm Skingle, Dr Bernard Pecoul, professor Stephen O'Rahilly, professor Peter Boyle, professor Anne Marie Rafferty and the university's own professor Peter Howie will also be honoured.See Tuesday's Courier for printed lists of today's graduands


Alan Alda to receive honorary degree from Dundee University

May 19 2017

Legendary actor Alan Alda is to receive an honorary degree from Dundee University. The actor, who shot to fame playing Hawkeye in the critically-acclaimed television series M*A*S*H, has since gone onto to star in a range of movies and television series, including Woody Allen films Everyone Says I Love and Manhattan Murder Mystery. He also starred in the acclaimed US series The West Wing and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Martin Scorcese's The Aviator. His most recent film appearance was in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies. Others to receive honorary degrees this year are Olympian Katherine Grainger and Perthshire film director David Mackenzie, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College. Another Duncan of Jordanstone graduate, Turner Prize winner Susan Phillipz will also be honoured, as will two other university graduates: Judge Tim Eicke QC, and David Cunningham, chief executive of The Archie Foundation. They will also receive a Doctor of Laws (LLD) at the university's graduation ceremonies, which take place between June 21 and 23. Alda is being honoured for his work as an ambassador of the communication of science. He helped found The Alan Alda Center for the Communication of Science, which is an international partner of the university's Leverhulme Centre. University principal Professor Sir Pete Downes said: “Our Honorary Graduates this year once again represent some of the highest achievers in their respective fields. "In choosing our honorary graduates we look for people who will inspire our students and staff and this year’s group have displayed excellence and achievement in abundance. “The achievements of our honorary graduates reflect the wide ranging nature of the impact the University has on society, and in this special anniversary year it is fitting that we have illustrious alumni such as Susan Philipsz, Tim Eicke, David Mackenzie and David Cunningham returning to receive honorary degrees. “I look forward to welcoming the four of them, Alan Alda and Dame Katherine Grainger to Dundee this summer.” During his time in Dundee Alan Alda will also discuss his passion for communication and exploring new knowledge and technology when he delivers the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science Public Lecture as part of the Graduation celebrations. An evening with Alan Alda takes place at the University’s Dalhousie Building at 6pm on Wednesday, 21st June. Free tickets can be obtained here. The university is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend. .


University of St Andrews to honour third Python

May 6 2017

Michael Palin is to become the third Monty Python star to be honoured by the University of St Andrews. The comedian, broadcaster and writer will be awarded an honorary degree next month. Also to be honoured during the summer graduation ceremonies are former Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway, broadcaster Donald Macleod, Iranian film director Professor Bahram Beyzaie and Scotland's former Lord Advocate the Right Honourable Dame Elish Angiolini. Palin's co-star John Cleese, a former rector of the ancient university, was given an honorary degree in 1971, while Terry Jones was presented with his in 2013. He will be among 12 distinguished figures from the worlds of science, literature, religion, film and broadcasting who will be awarded the honours between June 20 and 23 in St Andrews' Younger Hall. Others are novelist, screenwriter, social activitist and politician Professor Laura Beatriz, Professor Michael Klein, of Temple University, Philadelphia, Dr John Cameron, representative for Scottish agriculture and railway adviser, Clement Mubanga Chileshe, director of the Olympic Youth Development Center in Zambia, social anthropologist Professor Anthony Paul Cohen, David Nott, the first surgeon to combine laparoscopic and vascular surgery and physicist Professor Malcolm Longair. Palin, 73, is best known for co-writing and performing in Monty Python's Flying Circus which was first screened by the BBC in 1969. He also won a BAFTA for his role in the 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda and has made a number of travel and art and history documentaries, including Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days.


St Andrews University to honour Kate Adie

June 21 2010

War reporter Kate Adie and the former head of MI5 Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller are among those who will receive honorary degrees from St Andrews University this week. Ms Adie is best known as BBC foreign correspondent throughout the 80s and 90s, often reporting from the world's most dangerous war zones. She holds honorary degrees from a number of universities and is honorary professor of journalism at Sunderland University. Baroness Manningham-Buller headed MI5 from 2002 to 2007, during which time she was credited with making the agency more open under her tenure the organisation made terror risk assessments public for the first time. She will be awarded a doctor of science degree, while Ms Adie is to be made a doctor of laws. Other notable figures to be awarded honorary doctorates include Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters, Estonian composer Arvo Part, bipolar disorder expert Professor Kay Redfield Jamison, and the inventor of magnetic resonance imaging Professor John Mallard. Mr Part was due to be honoured last year but was unable to travel to Scotland because of ill-health. All will collect their honours during a series of degree ceremonies to be held in the Younger Hall, starting tomorrow for four days, to be presided over by university chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell. Previous recipients of honorary degrees from St Andrews include Bob Dylan, Michael Douglas, Denis Law, Dame Judi Dench, and J. K. Rowling.


Trump stripped of ambassador status and honorary degree

December 9 2015

US tycoon Donald Trump has been stripped of an honorary degree from Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University and his status as a Scottish business ambassador because of his call to bar Muslims from entering America. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stripped Donald Trump of his status as a business ambassador for Scotland on Wednesday afternoon after a public outcry over his comments. Then, just a few hours later, Robert Gordon University stripped Mr Trump of the honorary degree he was awarded in 2010. A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Mr Trump's recent remarks have shown that he is no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland and the First Minister has decided his membership of the respected GlobalScot business network should be withdrawn with immediate effect." A spokesman for the university said: "In 2010, Robert Gordon University awarded an honorary DBA to Mr Donald Trump in recognition of his achievements as an entrepreneur and businessman. "In the course of the current US election campaign, Mr Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university. "The university has therefore decided to revoke its award of the honorary degree." Mr Trump had been a member of GlobalScot since being invited to join in 2006. The network of business leaders, entrepreneurs and executives with a connection to Scotland was set up by Scottish Enterprise in 2001. The issues was also raised by the SNP at Prime Minister's Questions. https://www.youtube.com/embed/QfhhR-xWnMg?rel=0 Ms Sturgeon previously described Mr Trump's comments as "obnoxious and offensive" and said they "do not represent the mainstream views of people across America." More than 70,000 people signed a petition calling for Mr Trump to be stripped of his honorary degree . The online petition was set up by Suzanne Kelly, a freelance investigative journalist and satirist based in Aberdeen, on campaigning website 38 Degrees. She said: "This is a great victory for people power. After 70,000 people signed the 38 Degrees petition, Robert Gordon University quickly realised that honouring Donald Trump was completely out of step with the feelings of the UK public. “Honours like this legitimise hate speech. Britain has just sent a clear message to Donald Trump - we won’t stand by your hateful views."

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km