The SNP leader admitted the word "national" could be "hugely problematic".
Disgraced Cardinal Keeps Honorary Degree
St Andrews University has said it will not strip disgraced cardinal Keith O'Brien of his honorary degree.
The university considered revoking the 2004 award following a request from a member of staff.
Cardinal O'Brien resigned from the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh in 2013 after several priests accused him of inappropriate behaviour.
He admitted his sexual conduct had at times ``fallen below the standards expected of me'', and he no longer plays a public role in the Catholic Church in Scotland.
A St Andrews committee ruled that revoking the award would not change wrongdoings of the past and would be ``no more than an empty gesture''.
A statement said: ``The Senate Business Committee recognises that universities award honorary degrees in good faith on the basis of evidence available to them at a point in time, that revocation cannot change or ameliorate the wrongs of the past and that, notwithstanding the very real hurt and loss caused by the actions of the honorand, it would be no more than an empty gesture.
``The committee also formally recorded its disapproval of the inappropriate manner in which the request had been brought into the public domain before any decision had been reached by SBC in what could be interpreted as an attempt to prejudice the decision-making processes of the committee.''
A police watchdog probe was launched after the remains of the 52-year-old were found in a house in Dumfries in February last year.
The accident happened at about 7.50pm on Thursday in Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire.
More than 70 firefighters were needed to bring the blaze under control at Blochairn Fruit Market in the early hours of Thursday.
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