The University of Edinburgh is a public university located in Edinburgh, Scotland in the United Kingdom. The university is an ancient university as it is the sixth oldest university in the English speaking world and one of Scotland’s oldest universities.
The students in Edinburgh are governed by a Student Representative Council called the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA). The university was reorganized from its nine faculties into three colleges in 2002. These colleges are organized into schools. The colleges include: College of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) which is the largest of the three colleges, College of Science and Engineering (SCE) and College of Medicine and Vet Medicine (MVM). The schools within these colleges include a Business School, School of Divinity, School of Economics, School of Health and Social Sciences, School of Law, School of History, Classics and Archaeology among others.
The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1582 by the Edinburgh Town Council and it was opened in 1583. The university began as a college of law using part of the legacy left by Bishop Robert Reid of St. Magnus Cathedral, Orkney. Efforts by the Town Council and ministers of the city led to the broadening of the institution and it formally became a college and it later became the fourth Scottish University to be opened. By the 18th century, the university was a leading centre of Scottish Enlightenment.
The University of Edinburgh did not have a custom-built campus and it existed in a hotchpotch of buildings from its establishment until the 19th century and its first building was the old college, now the Edinburgh School of Law. Other buildings such as Medical School Premise were built making the university responsible for a number of modern and historic buildings across the city. Little France, the Chancellor’s Building was opened on 12th August 2002. The university continued developing drastically through the centuries and on 1st August 2011, the Edinburgh College of Art (which was founded in 1760) merged with the University of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh places within the top 10 in the United Kingdom and it is 2nd in Scotland for the employability of its graduates. The Academic Rankings of World Universities ranked Edinburgh in the 41st position worldwide and in the 6th position nationally. The QS World University Rankings ranked the university in the 19th position worldwide and the 5th position nationally. It should however be noted that the University of Edinburgh was ranked bottom in the United Kingdom for teaching quality by its students in the 2012 National Student Survey. Edinburgh has library called the Edinburgh University Library formed in 1580 that serves the university.
The University of Edinburgh is associated with many notable alumni and academic staff who have provided significant intellectual and scientific contributions to the world. Some of these notable personalities include: former British Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, biologist Ian Wilmut, historian Sir Tom Devine, geologist Archibald Geikie among many other notable people.