An Eyemouth student has been awarded a prestigious court medal after graduating top of his class.
Andrew McGowan, 23, is the first member of his family to go to university, was recently awarded a first-class honours degree in politics and social policy from the University of the West of Scotland.
Andrew, who grew up in Burnmouth before moving to Eyemouth, was also presented with a court medal from the University in recognition of graduating top of his class.
Fresh from graduating, he has landed himself a job with the newly-elected MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin Newlands, as a communications officer and he will be off to the University of Glasgow to study for a Masters in public policy in September.
Andrew said:“I am immensely proud to have graduated with a first-class honours in my degree - and to graduate top of my class and be awarded a court medal from the university is simply just amazing.”
He has already set about making a difference: he was a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, and also a former Trustee/Director of the Scottish Youth Parliament. He led the Youth Parliament’s successful OneFairWage campaign that called on the Scottish Government to champion a Living Wage Employer Recognition Scheme.
“I didn’t go to the best school,” he added, “we were never top of the league tables, but free education allowed me the chance to go to university because of my ability to learn, not my ability to pay – and for that I am eternally grateful.
“At school, most teachers wrote me off as the class clown – but I suppose I’m the one that’s still laughing!
“However, there was one teacher who a great source of encouragement and education throughout my six years at Eyemouth High School. Mr Halliday, as I am sure past students of the school will confirm, was a tremendous teacher and was a big influence on my decision to go to university for academic study. I cannot thank him enough.”