Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Public engagement

Public engagement involves higher education institutions and their staff and students connecting and sharing their work with the public. It generates mutual benefit through the sharing of knowledge, expertise and skills.

For more information on public engagement and research see the latest edition of Beltane’s Networker

Other activities

Staff and students through their innovative and proactive actions continue to contribute towards social responsibility and sustainability across the University community and well beyond.

Making the Most of Masters

Making the Most of Masters aims to improve collaboration between employers and universities by providing opportunities for masters students to undertake work based projects. These are adaptable across all disciplines and key economic areas in Scotland.

Volunteering in the Community

  • The Edinburgh Student Charities appeal provides a forum for charitable giving and volunteering by students and different schools and departments have developed relationships and partnerships with charities.
  • Schools and Departments throughout the University have numerous philanthropic and charitable partnerships and fund raising activities reflecting the values and desires of staff to support good causes.
  • Edinburgh University Students' Association Volunteering Centre coordinates placements for student volunteers in the community.

Gather Festival

  • The annual week-long festival in March celebrated culture, community, and the ethos of global citizenship on campus and beyond. The University is home to students from two thirds of the world’s countries.
  • Featuring over 40 events that promoted cultural difference and global citizenship, activities took place across campus, in collaboration with the Students' Association, student leaders, University departments and local community groups.


  • Staff and students hosted a conference on the theme of Thinking in Abundance as part of the University’s Innovative Learning Week. Speakers and attendees discussed the scarcity and abundance of resources, new definitions of want and need, and fresh perspectives upon problematic issues.
  • Thinking in Abundance was about looking again at problems and instead of seeing them as a deficit, using what we do have to make connections, find inspiration, and solve issues. TEDx University of Edinburgh is a program of events which focus on an interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge, organised by staff and students.

Festival of Creative Learning

A week-long programme of exciting and creative events that brings together staff, students and alumni from across the University.

Massive Open Online Courses

The University continues to provide courses for online students offering a taste of higher education for free, enabling wider access to excellent higher education for people across the world. More than 800,000 people have signed up for Edinburgh’s MOOCs since they were launched in July 2012.


Support for staff

There is lots of support and opportunity for researchers to engage with the public.


The University aims to make positive intellectual, educational, economic, scientific and cultural contributions to society and to promote engagement with, and support for, the University and its work.