University cuts back on honorary degrees

Jan. 14, 2007 at 11:21 PM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Scotland's Edinburgh University is tightening its rules on awarding honorary degrees, the Scotsman reported.

Recent concerns have come to light regarding honorary degrees being awarded to celebrities, serving politicians and those who have collected a large number of such degrees.

There are even plans to strip certain degree holders of their titles, including Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who was awarded the honor in 1984 for his country's transition to independence. When reports surfaced of widespread human rights abuses in his country, his award became an embarrassment to the university, the newspaper said.

In recent years, the university has awarded honorary degrees to celebrities including actor Michael Douglas and singer Annie Lennox.

The university's new nomination list was released over the weekend. The only celebrity on this year's list, the Scotsman said, was Monty Python comedian Michael Palin.

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