The University of Edinburgh (abbreviated as Edin. in post-nominals), founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 18th in the world by the 2019 QS World University Rankings. It is ranked as the 6th best university in Europe by the U.S. News' Best Global Universities Ranking, and 7th best in Europe by the Times Higher Education Ranking. The Research Excellence Framework, a research ranking used by the UK government to determine future research funding, ranked Edinburgh 4th in the UK for research power, and 11th overall. It is ranked the 78th most employable university in the world by the 2017 Global Employability University Ranking.
It is a member of both the Russell Group, and the League of European Research Universities, a consortium of 21 research universities in Europe. It has the third largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, after the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £949.0 million of which £279.7 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £931.3 million.
Alumni of the university include some of the major figures of modern history, including 3 signatories of the American declaration of independence, 9 heads of state (including 3 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom), 23 Nobel Prize winners, 2 Turing Award winners, 1 Abel Prize winner, 1 Fields Medal winner, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 2 currently-sitting UK Supreme Court Justices, and several Olympic gold medallists. It continues to have links to the British Royal Family, having had the Duke of Edinburgh as its Chancellor from 1953 to 2010 and Princess Anne since 2011.
Edinburgh receives approximately 60,000 applications every year, making it the second most popular university in the UK by volume of applications. It has 4th highest average UCAS entry tariff in Scotland, and 14th overall in the UK. (Source: Wikipedia)
With their rich history, noted alumni and distinguished scholars, they have much to be proud of in their many centuries as a world-renowned university.
From Nobel laureates and Olympic champions to space explorers and prime ministers, the University of Edinburgh has been influencing history since it opened the gates to its first students in 1583.
Following the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, the University was positioned at the forefront of academia and critical thinking.
Due to the determination and perseverance of a group of Edinburgh intellectuals, established facts about the world were being boldly and consistently challenged.
Amid this group was David Hume, philosopher, economist and essayist known for his philosophical skepticism and empiricism; Joseph Black, the chemist behind the discovery of latent heat and carbon dioxide; and James Hutton, the ‘Father of Modern Geology’.
Shaping the past, the present and the future
They are the home of Britain’s oldest literary awards, the James Tait Black Prizes and Dolly the sheep, the first animal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.
It was also here at the University of Edinburgh that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired to create his notorious character, Sherlock Holmes and James Young Simpson pioneered anaesthetics through his discovery of the properties of chloroform.
More recently, theoretical physicist and Professor Emeritus Peter Higgs was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his 1964 prediction of the Higgs Boson.
Through the many achievements of its staff and students, the University has continued to present cutting-edge research, inspirational teaching and innovative thinking as its central ethos, attracting some of the greatest minds from around the globe.