Glasgow Uni rape survivor gave empowering talk to students after changing Scottish policy

Ellie Wilson campaigned for students to declare violent criminal charges when applying to university

A former University of Glasgow student gave a talk to Glasgow students yesterday about how she changed policy in Scottish universities after being raped.
Ellie Wilson campaigned to change the law after she was raped by her ex-boyfriend and won a battle to get applicants to declare any violent criminal charges when going to university.
Speaking with students last night, Ellie used her story to empower young women and spoke on “turning your pain into platform”.

A former politics student at the University of Glasgow, Ellie was raped by her boyfriend at the time, Daniel McFarlane. A medicine student also enrolled at Glasgow University, McFarlane was having an “on-off relationship” with Ellie.

McFarlane was jailed for five years and placed on the sex offenders register after Ellie captured him admitting to raping her by pressing her phone to record in her bag. It is believed by Ellie that these recordings played a key part in his conviction and prison sentence.

Despite being suspended from the University of Glasgow, Ellie claimed that the University of Edinburgh admitted him whilst knowing about his suspension.

She previously told Edinburgh Live: “I emailed Edinburgh assuming they didn’t know and they said they’d already been made aware. So they knew but let him in anyway. Daniel was then found guilty and is in jail for five years.” The University of Edinburgh since released a statement addressing this.

After more than 18 months of campaigning, Ellie was able to change enrolment policies at Scottish universities, meaning that students who are offered places are required to declare violent criminal charges or if they are facing serious charges.

This new policy is applied to both the post-offer stage and annually at the re-enrolment stage.

Scottish universities explained that the changed policy was motivated by student safety and their work to prevent gender-based violence, but that they would be balancing this with “their belief in access” and “the powerful role that education can play in the journey of rehabilitation”.

Posting on X yesterday evening, Ellie spoke of her own personal growth which saw her return to her alma mater with two degrees and to give a talk on empowerment.

With over 20,000 followers, Ellie now uses her X account to share updates on her campaign work and encourage women to speak out against injustices.

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Featured image via X