PAST POLICIES

Ethical Kidney Donation Scheme 

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With a reformulated policy in hand and having already spoken to some health care professionals (i.e. transplant), the Kidney Donation team addresses public concerns and opinions around this policy. This includes a public debate around the ethical implications of this policy as well as campaigns to spread awareness both to the Scottish public and its MSPs

Innovating Education: The Case for Including Problem-based Learning at University

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The authors propose a diversification of higher education through the inclusion of problem-based learning (PBL) in the curriculum. It looks specifically at restructuring modules, lectures, tutorials and exams to reflect this approach, as well as the creation of entirely student-led PBL courses. These student-led courses can also be used as a way to credit existing extra-curricular activities.

Widening Access to Higher Education

In this policy proposal, the government’s policies and targets will be evaluated with respect to the Scottish universities’ policies and targets and will see where the government have succeeded and where the government has not done enough to give access to students from lower economic backgrounds. 

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How to Champion Creativity in Scottish Schools

Following a joint-initiative on behalf of Education Scotland and Creative Scotland, a Creative Learning Network has been established across Scotland to invigorate creative capacities. Integral to this project is the Creativity Portal, designed to enhance collaboration between schools and their communities, as increasing creative education requires resources with which children can engage. 

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How to Innovate

E-Democracy in Britain

Bachir Djelmami-Hani suggests how technology can be used to centralise political information. With the information explosion of the internet age, finding a clear view of policies and directives being pursued in politics can be near impossible for most citizens due to the mass and bias of media coverage. Djelmami-Hani demonstrates some innovative advantages available from the harmonization of technology and political processes, such as widespread participation, feedback mechanisms, and real-time exposure to decision and policy updates. 

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Response to the Prostitution Law Reform (Scotland) Porposal

On 8 September 2015, Jean Urquhart issued a proposal for a Bill to decriminalise activities associated with the buying and selling of sexual services and to strengthen the laws against coercion in the sex industry.  The Buchanan Institute compares the Prostitution Law Reform (Scotland) Proposal to the New Zealand and Swedish models. Considering in-depth questions that cut to the heart of the issue such as licensing conditions and legal treatment, the authors propose a two-pronged approach: decriminalisation coupled with generous resources set aside for a safe transition out of the sex industry.

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The Case for Compulsory Mental Health Education in Scottish Schools

Despite formal support for Mental Health education, popular sentiment and statistics show that the Scottish school system currently fails to adequately achieve this. The Buchanan Institute evaluate the situation at-hand with critical insight to the reality of Mental Health across Europe and the neglect of Mental Health education in schools. Ultimately the case is made for mental health as a compulsory component of the Scottish curriculum.

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A Review of the University Counselling Services

In response to negative public discourse surrounding mental health services at university, The Buchanan Institute put forward a proposal, detailing the University of Edinburgh’s Student Counselling Service's current procedures and identifying areas for further improvement.

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Edinburgh University Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy Review

The team reviewed the University’s existing policies around social responsibility and sustainability. The review included a comparative study of other British and American universities' and companies' policies. The team highlighted the gaps within Edinburgh University’s policies and the potential for improvement.

In the following semester, the research team was awarded by the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability for their work at the SRS Sustainability Awards.

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SAVOUR: 

Food Waste Reduction Strategies at University Cafes 

While the University of Edinburgh has acknowledged Food waste and sustainability is an issue, in practice there is little done to prevent the waste of food from University sites such as the cafes throughout University owned buildings. These authors set out to fill the gaps in current university policy regarding food waste, outlining the importance of establishing a system of waste tracking across campus

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Promoting Reforms in Civilian Casualty Monitoring

This policy reviews the existing monitoring systems of civilian casualty via drone strike within the UK and the US. There are three main lobbying objectives that this project group will be pursuing this semester: (1) launching an inquiry modeled after the Obama Executive Order on the matter, (2) establishing a third party review monitoring system, and (3) reviewing the monitoring sources according to pre-established criteria.

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Putting Health First:

An Approach to UK Drug Policy 

The policy aims to refocus the government's approach to drug abuse from one of criminalisation to one palliative care. The first semester was spent updating the policy recommendations and reviewing the policy for general coherence. The objectives going forward are heavily geared towards lobbying. This includes starting grassroots engagement and moving towards a policy change within the Edinburgh city council.

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An Independent Scotland and the EU

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If Scotland votes 'Yes' on 18 Sept 2014, what kind of relationship would it have with the rest of Europe? The Buchanan Institute tackles this crucial question in Buchanan's first research piece. Many thanks to Dr. Daniel Kenealy for his support as the academic mentor on this project.

A Case for Universal Basic Income

The Institute published a proposal for a universal basic income to be tested within Fife Council. The proposal was launched with RSA Scotland's Jamie Cooke and Cllr. Matt Kerr, both who are strong advocates for a UBI.

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