The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann), founded in 1582,is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the sixth university to be established in the British Isles, making it one of the ancient universities of Scotland. The university is also amongst the largest in the United Kingdom.


The founding of the University is attributed to Bishop Robert Reid of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney, who left the funds on his death in 1558 that ultimately provided the University's endowment. The University was established by a Royal Charter granted by James VI in 1582, becoming the fourth Scottish university at a time when more populous neighbour England had only two.

By the 18th century Edinburgh was a leading centre of the European Enlightenment (see Scottish Enlightenment) and became one of the continent's principal universities.

Statue of David Hume

Students at the university are represented by Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA), which consists of the Students' Representative Council (SRC), founded in 1884 by Robert Fitzroy Bell, and Edinburgh University Union (EUU) which was founded in 1889.

In 2002 the University was re-organised from its 9 faculties into three ‘Colleges’, and now comprises the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), Science and Engineering (CSE), and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (MVM). Within these Colleges are 21 ‘Schools’, which are of roughly equal sizes, generally significantly larger than the more-numerous departments they replaced.

Colleges and Schools

College of Humanities and Social Science
School of Arts, Culture and Environment
School of Divinity
School of Health in Social Science
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
School of Law (Edinburgh Law School)
School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
University of Edinburgh Business School
Moray House School of Education
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
School of Social and Political Studies

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
School of Biomedical Sciences
School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health
School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

College of Science and Engineering
School of Biological Sciences
School of Chemistry
School of GeoSciences
School of Engineering and Electronics
School of Informatics
School of Mathematics
School of Physics

University of Edinburgh ranked 23rd in the 2007 THES-QS World University ranking
University of Edinburgh ranked 23rd in the 2008 THES-QS World University ranking
University of Edinburgh ranked 20th in the 2009 THES-QS World University ranking
University of Edinburgh ranked 22nd in the 2010 QS World University ranking
University of Edinburgh ranked 20th in the 2011 QS World University ranking

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The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits is sweet ~ Aristotle

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.