Alumni Services

Principal’s legacy of breaking down barriers

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, is being honoured for his commitment to students through the launch of the O’Shea Global Scholars Initiative.

During his 15-year tenure, Sir Timothy has transformed the University in ways that have had a profound impact on our students. He has been a strong advocate of expanding financial support for students so that the University can attract the best and the brightest, with Edinburgh now having one of the most generous undergraduate support programmes for UK students.

Robbie Miller
Robbie Miller

The Principal has also been a champion of the value of international experiences, encouraging students to take the opportunity to study, volunteer or work abroad and access a truly global education. Such experiences are instrumental in helping our students think about their futures on a global scale.

Ripple effect

One person who appreciates the importance of scholarships is Robbie Miller. Robbie is a medical student who is currently doing his intercalated year in Physiology and receives financial assistance for his studies. Robbie says he would never have been able to study here had it not been for the support:

Without the scholarship I just wouldn’t have come to university – I would definitely have done something else. It wouldn’t have been feasible for me at all. The support of the scholarship is a significant thing that I hope will have repercussions for generations to come; I hope I’ll be able to help someone in the future – it’s a ripple effect.


The University of Edinburgh has a proud tradition of supporting students from low-income backgrounds and scholarship provision to help Scottish and UK students is the heart of our social access strategy.

The University is asking its alumni and friends to support the O’Shea Global Scholars Initiative, helping us to honour the Principal’s commitment to access and mobility.

Our new enhanced undergraduate scholarships will allow students from the most deprived areas and students from the lowest levels of household income to study and thrive on campus at Edinburgh. The provision of travel scholarships, enabling young students to undertake an international experience during their degree, will help them grow their global network.

Working together we have an unrivalled opportunity to build on what Sir Timothy has started and provide each student with a truly transformative experience at Edinburgh.

Related links

The O'Shea Global Scholars Initiative