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Widening Participation

Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to study at the University of Edinburgh. Higher education, and a student experience at Edinburgh, has the power to transform the lives of those who come to study with us.

Widening Participation

Building on our values, and our commitment to having a positive impact on our local and global community, we are working to ensure that students from a wide range of diverse backgrounds thrive and feel a sense of belonging.

Global Access Scholarships

As a global university we want to educate the most talented and ambitious students regardless of distance or circumstance. We know, however, that practical and financial barriers stop many young people from low-income backgrounds from even considering an international education.

The groundbreaking Mastercard Foundation Scholars programme offers full scholarships, tailored support, and transformative leadership training to Africans with the ideas and potential to change the world around them.

We are now working to roll out this model for financially-disadvantaged students from Asia and North America.

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme


The transition from university into a professional career isn’t always easy. For students from less advantaged backgrounds - whose personal or financial circumstances can feel like barriers to pursuing career paths after graduation - opportunities to enter the professional workforce can seem far out of reach. Insights is designed to help students to develop confidence, skills, knowledge and connections through professional experiences with Edinburgh alumni in Scotland and further afield.

The Insights Programme

Access to the Professions

For many young people who don’t have family or community role models in the professions, aspirations to become a doctor or a lawyer or a vet can seem completely out of reach. We want to change that. Our Access to the Professions project works with carefully chosen state secondary schools, often in areas of deprivation, to inspire and enable young people to consider careers in law, medicine or veterinary medicine.

Reach Edinburgh

Access Edinburgh Scholarships

Every year hundreds of ambitious and talented students apply to study at Edinburgh without the confidence that they can afford to complete their degree. Means-tested scholarships remove some of those financial pressures, to help these students have a university experience that will allow them to achieve their full potential.

Access Edinburgh Scholarships


Poverty and educational underachievement often go hand-in-hand, meaning that young people growing up in our most deprived neighbourhoods don’t always have the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications needed to realise their ambitions. The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the University of Glasgow, is launching a groundbreaking collaboration with education charity IntoUniversity to address the needs of some of the most deprived young people in Scotland.

Together we will open local education centres in Govan, Maryhill and Craigmillar to provide children with the academic support, pastoral care, one-to-one mentoring, and practical advice needed to foster aspiration and ambition.

Into University (external website)

More information

Widening Participation