The General Council

Past meeting

The General Council's recent statutory Half-Yearly Meeting took place in the brand new Edinburgh Futures Institute (formerly the old Royal Infirmary building) on Lauriston Place.

The University's new Rector, Simon Fanshawe, chaired the meeting and the outgoing Convener, Sir Philip Mawer, gave the report from the Business Committee. 

A recording of the meeting can be viewed below. The Secretary of the General Council, Dr William Duncan,  notes the key dates for General Council elections and statutory meetings for 2024/25:


Video: General Council Half-Yearly Meeting 15 June 2024
A recording of the statutory meeting of the General Council on Saturday 15 June 2024


The symposium, which followed the statutory meeting, on advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science, discussed the implications, both for the University and for wider society, and the recordings of both parts can be viewed below:

Part one was chaired by the Principal, Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, with an introduction from Professor Kev Dhaliwal, Interim Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute:

Video: Part One: General Council AI symposium June 2024 EFI
Part one of the AI Symposium (General Council HYM) held at the Edinburgh Futures Institute on Saturday 15 June 2024

Slides used during the presentation from Gavin McLachlan, Vice-Principal and Chief Information Officer, and Librarian to the University, can be accessed below:


Video: Part Two: General Council AI symposium June 2024 EFI
Part Two of the AI Symposium in the Edinburgh Futures Institute (General Council HYM) on Saturday 15 June 2024


Some feedback from our members:

"Another completely fascinating event from the General Council. Bringing together Artificial Intelligence and the new Edinburgh Futures Institute was an inspired decision. Which of course supports the continuing value of good old human intelligence! We were given a masterclass on the foundations of AI and the uses to which it can be put, to the betterment of everyone. We also heard of some possible pitfalls too. The University is truly world leading in this area and that was made very evident. As a real bonus we were able to experience the recently opened Edinburgh Futures Institute which is a very imaginative remodelling of part of the Old Royal Infirmary. 

Dr Mike Mitchell, BSc 1974; PhD 1981

I had a wonderful time at the meeting and symposium....the venue is terrific....everything seemed to work seamlessly

I just wanted to congratulate you on an excellent day yesterday. I thought the series of presentations was really well put together with lots of food for thought

Thanks for a brilliant day at the new EFI.  We had the most wide-ranging and stimulating conversations around the symposia, over lunch, and made new acquaintances.  

I thought the day was fascinating and I very much enjoyed it. You organised and ran it beautifully