University to cash in on cruise calls as first ship docks in Aberdeen

08/04/2024
Kings College

THE University of Aberdeen principal has lifted the lid on proposals to cash in on cruise calls in the Granite City.

During a wide-ranging interview with the Press & Journal, George Boyne opened up on plans to use tourists as a means to increase funds for the cash-strapped institution.

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The university chief blames its millions of pounds of debt on Brexit and Boris Johnson.

A number of decisions made by policymakers since the 2016 referendum, including banning international students from bringing their families with them to the UK, has seen numbers drop “45%, year on year”, according to Mr Boyne.

Amid funding cuts, a marking boycott and staff redundancies, Mr Boyne touted the idea of using tourism as a way to benefit the historic institution.

With the £420m South Harbour now fully operational, 58 cruise ships carrying tens of thousands of tourists will dock at the Granite City this year.

The university’s buildings, some of which date back to the 15th century, has seemingly become a must-see for tourists in Aberdeen.

“We would love the tourists to get into some of our buildings at the weekend,” said Mr Boyne.

“We have plans to make that happen, with a place to maybe buy a T-shirt and a coffee as well.

“A cafe, a museum and memorabilia… That would all be great.

“It would be good to have information to let them know how long we have been here for, and what our traditions are… About our history and where we are now.

“It would be good for the university and good for the reputation of the city.”

The university’s plans come as the Port of Aberdeen welcomes its first ship of the 2024 season.

The 2,194-capacity AIDAsol is expected to dock at 9am this morning.

It’ll be the second-largest ship to dock at the harbour this year with a vessel length of 253.3m, and returns in July, August and September.

The 290.2m, near-£450million Costa Favolosa, which boasts a capacity of 3,780, will be the largest to be welcomed into the city, docking in July and September.

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