University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh (Scots: University o Edinburgh, Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as Edin. in post-nominals) is a public research university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Founded by the town council under the authority of a royal charter of King James VI in 1582 and officially opened in 1583, it is one of Scotland's four ancient universities and the sixth-oldest university in continuous operation in the English-speaking world.[1] Along with the universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, the university played an important role during the Scottish Enlightenment helping Edinburgh to become a chief intellectual centre and contributed to the city being nicknamed the "Athens of the North."[7][8] Edinburgh is ranked among the top universities in the United Kingdom and the world.[9][10][11][12][13]

University of Edinburgh
Latin: Universitas Academica Edinburgensis
Former names
Tounis College
King James' College
TypePublic research university
Ancient university
Established1583; 440 years ago (1583)[1]
Endowment£541.0 million (2022)[2]
Budget£1.262 billion (2022)[2]
ChancellorAnne, Princess Royal
RectorDebora Kayembe
PrincipalSir Peter Mathieson
Academic staff
4,952 FTE (2022)[3]
Administrative staff
6,215 FTE (2022)[3]
Students41,250 (2021/22)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Undergraduates26,000 (2021/22)[4]
Postgraduates15,245 (2021/22)[4]
Scotland, UK

55°56′50.6″N 3°11′13.9″W
CampusUrban, suburban
ColoursRed Blue[6]
Coimbra Group
Russell Group
Una Europa
Universitas 21
Universities Scotland
Universities UK
Interior dome of the McEwan Hall after restoration in 2017

Edinburgh is a member of several associations of research-intensive universities, including the Coimbra Group, League of European Research Universities, Russell Group, Una Europa, and Universitas 21.[14] In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2022, it had a total income of £1.262 billion, of which £331.6 million was from research grants and contracts. It has the third-largest endowment in the UK, behind only Cambridge and Oxford.[2] The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, which include many buildings of historical and architectural significance such as those in the Old Town.[15]

Edinburgh is the seventh-largest university in the UK by enrolment[4] and receives over 75,000 undergraduate applications per year, making it the second-most popular university in the UK by volume of applications.[16] Edinburgh had the eighth-highest average UCAS points amongst British universities for new entrants in 2020.[17] The university continues to have links to the royal family, having had Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as its chancellor from 1953 to 2010 and Anne, Princess Royal since March 2011.[18]

Alumni of the university include inventor Alexander Graham Bell, naturalist Charles Darwin, philosopher David Hume, physicist James Clerk Maxwell, and writers such as Sir J. M. Barrie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J. K. Rowling, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson.[19][20] The university counts several heads of state and government amongst its graduates, including three British Prime Ministers. Three Supreme Court Justices of the UK were educated at Edinburgh. As of January 2023, 19 Nobel Prize laureates, four Pulitzer Prize winners, three Turing Award winners, and an Abel Prize laureate and Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Edinburgh as alumni or academic staff.[21] Edinburgh alumni have won a total of ten Olympic gold medals.[lower-alpha 2]

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