The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in 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 9th in Europe by the 2021 EHEO University Rankings. The Research Excellence Framework, a research ranking used by the UK government to determine future research funding, ranked Edinburgh (joint submission with Heriot-Watt) 4th in the UK for research power, and 11th overall. It is ranked the 48th most employable university in the world by the 2020 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 2018–19 was £1,080.6 million of which £285.7 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £1,211.9 million.
The University Court is the University’s governing body and is the legal persona of the University. By the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889, the University Court is a body corporate, with perpetual succession and a common seal; and all the property belonging to the University at the passing of the Act was vested in the Court.
In 2002, the university was reorganised from its nine faculties into three “colleges”. While technically not a collegiate university, it now comprises the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), Science & Engineering (SCE) and Medicine & Vet Medicine (MVM). Within these colleges are “schools” – roughly equivalent to the departments they succeeded; individual schools have a good degree of autonomy regarding their finances and internal organisation. This has brought a certain degree of uniformity (in terms of administration at least) across the university.
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University of Edinburgh Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL, United Kingdom