Scottish university revokes honorary degree from Trump

The decision was made after the presidential candidate made controversial remarks regarding the entry of Muslims to the US.


Donald Trump, Republican front-running candidate for the US presidential nomination was stripped of his honorary degree from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, last week.

The university decided to revoke Trump’s honorary doctor of business administration (DBA) degree following controversial remarks delivered by Trump in response to a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until our country’s representatives can figure out what’s going on.”

The decision to revoke the doctorate was agreed upon last Thursday. Explaining their verdict, a spokesperson for the university said: “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 his honorary degree.”

The degree was awarded in 2010 to acknowledge Trump’s success in the business world. At the time, the university’s acting principal and vice-chancellor stated: “Given that business and entrepreneurship lie at the heart of much of the university’s academic offering, it is only fitting to award Mr Trump with an honorary degree.”

It is a relatively recent development for universities to remove degrees that were given in honour of a person. Trump is not the first person to have an honorary degree revoked by a Scottish university. In 2007, Robert Mugabe had his degree, which was rewarded in 1984 by the University of Edinburgh, withdrawn after student protests. While in the US, several colleges have recently taken back honorary degrees given to Bill Cosby, after multiple allegations of sexual assault.

Una Harty

Úna is a third year Nanoscience student and Trinity Life editor for Trinity News.