The University of Edinburgh was established in I582, through a Royal Charter approved by James VI. This Charter paved the way for establishing an institution that was able to hold its own in the modern and advanced studies like science and medicine. The 1621 Act by the Scottish Parliament, and the Universities of Scotland Act of 1858 served to strengthen the rights and competence of the university and in the enhancement and regulation of its courses.
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The University of Edinburgh is considered to be among the top universities not only in Scotland but also in UK and Europe. The affiliations of the university are wide ranging, being a member of several national as well as international organisations such as the Russell Group, Universitas 21, Fairtrade, Universities Scotland, Education UK and Inspiring Capital.
The University of Edinburgh is rated high by the students and alumni too. One website frequented by students displays the average ratings given by the students for the university as 7.9 overall, with the courses and lectures graded 7.5, accommodation 7.1, 8.2 for the facilities in the university, 8.0 for the clubs, societies and other activities 7.4 for eye candy and 8.0 for job prospects. Although 88 per cent of the students said they would recommend the university, the student’s association itself scored only 6.9.
There are three colleges in the University of Edinburgh: Humanities and Social Sciences; Medicine and Veterinary Medicine; and Science and Engineering. The college of Humanities and Social Sciences has 11 schools under its ambit and the School of Social & Political Science is the largest one with 1000 undergraduate and 400 postgraduate students among its rolls as well as almost 300 postgraduate researchers. Almost 60 per cent of the research conducted in this school was graded 3* and 4*. In the same manner, the University of Edinburgh Business School is considered among the top 100 MBA colleges worldwide for a decade in running. Other popular schools are The School of Economics, and the School of Law.
The University offers good and affordable accommodation for students from other parts of UK and Europe and other countries. The applications for the accommodation have to be registered before July 31st for the courses starting in September. There are also alternative, private accommodations available nearby. However, the Halls of the University of Edinburgh, such as Pollock Halls are very much appreciated by the students for their ambience, social culture as well as the food.
With a lot of importance given to sports activities, the University of Edinburgh boasts of gold and silver medal-winning Olympians among its alumni. World leaders, scientists, writers, and doctors of medicine, musicians, businessmen spread over many countries worldwide are also the alumni of the University of Edinburgh.
The University of Edinburgh has recently introduced free online courses for anyone with a computer and internet connection. There are no eligibility criteria for such students. There are six courses in this bouquet, each of five weeks duration: Introduction to Astrobiology and the Search for Extra-terrestrial Life; Equine Nutrition; E-learning and Digital Cultures; Critical Thinking in Global Challenges; Artificial Intelligence Planning; and Introduction to Philosophy.
There is also another motivating and encouraging offer of a flat 10% off on the tuition fees for students who have studied earlier at the university. This not only aids in building a long-term relationship of the students with the university but also in motivating students to study further and enhance their qualifications and contribute to a better world.
But there are some problems in the admission process as pointed out by some media: the University of Edinburgh is the only university with five star research facilities that allots “entry points” to students from other countries or regions and accords preference to students from nearby regions. The reason given by the university is that this is done with a view to safeguarding the interests of the local students and helps them study their chosen subject without any pressure, especially in subjects that are very popular. For this, the local students are accorded extra weightage.