Peter McColl

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Peter McColl
McColl at his rectorial installation
McColl at his rectorial installation
Lord Rector of the University of Edinburgh
In office
11 January 2012 – 11 February 2015
Preceded by Iain Macwhirter
Succeeded by Steve Morrison
Personal details
Born (1980-05-09) 9 May 1980 (age 35)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political party Scottish Green Party
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation Charity worker
recorded October 2014

Peter McColl (born 9 May 1980) is a political campaigner and writer, former Rector of the University of Edinburgh, a charity worker, and editor of progressive blog Bright Green.[1][2][3]


McColl was confirmed as Rector of the University of Edinburgh on 11 January 2012, following an uncontested election. He took up the three-year post on 1 March 2012.

McColl is a geography graduate of the University of Edinburgh and was previously a Vice President of the Edinburgh University Students Association.[3] He was assessor to Mark Ballard during his term as Rector of the University from 2006–09, and was involved in the campaigns to elect both Robin Harper and Tam Dalyell as Rector.

As Rector McColl has supported successful campaigns to freeze international student fees; for more affordable student housing, including the establishment of the Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative; for the University to divest from weaponised drone manufacturing and the wider arms trade; and to stop the University using zero hour contracts.[2][4][5][6][7][8][9]

He has also campaigned for better pay and conditions for academic and support staff, to improve teaching, for free education, for improved education funding, to improve university governance across Scotland, for fossil fuel divestment, and ethical procurement.[1][2][10][11][12][13]

In 2015 McColl became the fourth Rector to stand for re-election. He lost to his opponent, media executive Steve Morrison, who won with 61.9% of the vote.[14]


McColl is the Scottish Green Party 2015 Westminster parliamentary candidate for Edinburgh East, the party's national target seat.[15] He is an editor of the Bright Green blog, and was voted the UK's top Green blogger in the 2011 Total Politics poll.[16] and 7th top left wing blogger.[17]

Mccoll has also served as the Co-Chair of the Edinburgh Green Party and (until 2011) as Chair of climate action group Transition Scotland Support.[18]


  1. ^ a b Kernohan, Marcus (12 January 2012). "Campaigner elected Edinburgh rector in one-horse race". The Journal. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Gourtsoyannis, Paris (5 February 2015). "Working Title: Interview with University of Edinburgh Rector Peter McColl". Holyrood Magazine. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Peter McColl confirmed as new Rector". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Edinburgh University ditches drone firm investments". Reprieve. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Biagi, Marco. "Joint statement with Peter McColl, Rector of University of Edinburgh". Marco Biagi MSP. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Bradley, Sam (5 March 2014). "UK’s first student housing co-op launches in Edinburgh". The Edinburgh Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "What Does The Rector Even Do?". FreshAir. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Edinburgh MSP wants action on planning requirements for affordable housing". The Edinburgh Reporter. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Edinburgh University rector calls for review into student accommodation". UIA Insurance. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Dewar, Gavin (27 January 2015). "Plunging Oil Price Costs University £4 Million". The Student Newspaper. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Minghella, Dan (31 October 2013). "Edinburgh staff strike over university pay". The Journal. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "Scottish independence: Debate on education in Scotland". BBC News. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "New report on ethical procurement released". People & Planet. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Membership Surge Sets Up Strong Scottish Green MP Campaign". Scottish Green Party. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "Top 20 green bloggers 2011". Total Politics. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Top 20 green bloggers 2011". Total Politics. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Top 20 green bloggers 2011". Total Politics. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 

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External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Iain Macwhirter
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
2012 – 2015
Succeeded by
Steve Morrison