Orkney and Shetland evening class for New Zealand
This semester an evening class specifically for New Zealanders was set up by Dr Andrew Jennings from the Institute for Northern Studies UHI. He reached out to Orkney and Shetland Societies in New Zealand to offer them the chance to learn about their ancestral homes. There are large numbers of people in New Zealand of Orkney and Shetland descent. The current Covid-19 situation inspired the idea, as many people are now using video conferencing who would not have done so in the past. The interest was impressive. Because of the time difference the ‘evening’ sessions were held at 8 am UK time! The course lasted for 6 weeks and covered the archaeology, history and culture of Orkney and Shetland. Dr Simon Clarke from Shetland College kicked off the series with an impressive overview of the prehistoric archaeological heritage, Dr Alexandra Sanmark from Perth College covered the Viking heritage of the islands and Lynn Campbell regaled the students with Orcadian folktales. Andrew talked about the medieval history, placenames and literature of the Northern Isles. The antipodeans enjoyed the experience immensely. The feedback was glowing! Proactively reaching out to potential students across the world is the way forward for online learning and further focussed evening classes presenting the extraordinary heritage of the Northern Isles are planned.