For more than four centuries we have been Edinburgh’s civic university, training teachers, lawyers, doctors and a wide range of other experts and innovators that practise their professions in our host city.
The University is a vitally important part of the Edinburgh region. As well as our undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, we offer comprehensive lifelong learning opportunities.
We are partners in the social and cultural life of the city: we host and participate in the city’s festivals, we stage regular public events, and we work closely with the national museums, galleries and libraries based in the city.
We are a key employer and contribute to the city’s economic prosperity, as a buyer of goods and services from local suppliers and a generator of start-up and spin-out businesses.
The quality of life in Edinburgh is enhanced through volunteering and fundraising for local causes, and through outreach activities such as free vet care for pets of homeless people and our free legal advice service. We also work with local schools and colleges to broaden horizons, opportunities and access for learners of all ages.
How we engage with our local communities should empower them. The city’s local needs will influence our core activities, and we remain aware of the ways that our students and staff living in and around Edinburgh interact as good neighbours and responsible citizens.
We will be open to the city, and its residents will be able to access our buildings and our facilities. We will communicate what we do and how we work with the city so that its residents are able to interact with us in an informed way.
We will build and strengthen relationships and information exchange between the University, the city and our communities. We will put our research and teaching at the service of our local communities, with the aim to enhance support for the University’s objectives.
To achieve this, we will:
- raise aspirations, targeting outreach work and on-campus events to make higher education an achievable goal for more people, especially under-represented groups;
- improve the local environment, ensuring sustainability and accessibility are built in to our estates, energy and transport policies and practices;
- expand student and staff opportunities: embed community engagement within our degree programmes, creating opportunities for students to work, volunteer or study within a community setting;
- recognise the value of engagement and social responsibility through the Edinburgh Award for students, credits for experiential learning in degree programmes, and the Principal’s Medal for staff;
- engage the public in research: encourage the widest possible range of audiences to understand our research through public engagement programmes and our digital resources;
- support community use of our facilities: increase the health and well-being of Edinburgh citizens through services offered by Sport & Exercise;
- enrich the cultural and intellectual life of our communities through our museums, galleries, public lectures, exhibitions, concerts and workshops; and provide facilities and content to support festivals;
- work strategically with civic and community partners to enhance health and well-being, education, culture and quality of life.