The Scots language should be given a statutory legal basis to conserve and promote Scotland's heritage, according to Magnus Fladmark, director of the Robert Gordon University Heritage Unit.
Professor Fladmark, giving the first public university lecture sponsored by Aberdeen City Council, said that Scots, as spoken by Robert Burns, was more important than a Scottish assembly in terms of national priorities.
"Human rights are being ignored when more than three-quarters of Scottish pupils are being denied the opportunity of learning and being tested in their own tongue," he said. There had been a first this year with a Glasgow University student allowed to submit a master's thesis in Scots.
Scots should have the same status as Gaelic, which at Robert Gordon is acceptable for any subject if a suitable tutor and examiner can be found.