11 audio tape reels in our archives provide one of the best records of what was going on at DIT and what life was like for our students in 1993 just before we got university status.
Read on to find out more about them, or go click below to listen to copies of these unique records.
In the autumn term of 1993 the Dundee Institute of Technology commissioned Campus Radio to make 12 radio shows, each of around 20 minutes long, that highlighted the work of the Institute and the student life there. The shows were broadcast between September and December 1993 on the local radio station, Radio Tay. 11 reels have survived, with the reel for the 6th show being unfortunately missing.
The shows were created as part of a wider campaign – “You Can Do It At DIT” – aimed at recruiting more students to allow the Institute to gain university status. It achieved this in May 1994.
The project was overseen by Jeff Ferguson and Jimmy Black of Campus Radio, who alternately hosted and conducted interviews in the shows, with Brian Lindsay also running a round-up segment of weekly news at the Institute.
The 11 radio shows follow a rough format of an item highlighting innovative research or projects at the Institute, details of courses available and job prospects after qualification, and a quiz pitching students from different departments against each other. The last segment is a weekly news round-up segment highlighting elements of student life, including entertainments, societies, sports, and student association news.
There are some wonderful surprises in the radio shows concerning the cutting edge research that was going on in 1993. There are fascinating interviews about the work being done on areas like a passive motion hand therapy machine, cryopreservation, energy efficiency planning, the use of polling and marketing techniques on pain management, DNA fingerprinting etc. There was also an amazing article about an undergraduate research project on finance challenges in the British film industry.
Wider educational developments were also covered in terms of international relations being fostered through providing courses in Europe, the ERASMUS student exchange scheme, the development of specialised institutes to bring together expertise to help industry highlighted in the Wastewater Technology Centre, and the benefits gained from collaborating with further education colleges in the local region.
Student life is also well covered in the shows, from the news about student entertainments during Freshers Week and the fortunes of our sports teams, to more serious issues such as reductions in student maintenance grants and the restrictions that would be imposed on students associations abilities to fund student activities. The segments on these regularly feature interviews with the Student Representative Council President at the time, Rachel Thomas.
The reels were digitised by Scotland's Sounds at the National Library of Scotland in December 2020, and we are pleased to be able to make these copies available to listen to here.
For a more detailed run down of the contents of each reel please see the catalogue for the collection here.