Edinburgh Local

City of Edinburgh honours University Principal

The prestigious Edinburgh Award has been given to the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea.

Principal receives prestigious award
Principal receives prestigious award


The award is presented annually to an outstanding individual who has made a positive contribution to the city. 

The honour, established in 2007 and bestowed by the City of Edinburgh Council, also celebrates citizens who have gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Cllr Frank Ross, presented Sir Timothy with an engraved Loving Cup - a traditional two-handled drinking vessel that represents friendship. 

A poem by Edinburgh Makar Alan Spence was composed to mark the accolade.


Sir Timothy has done much to promote Edinburgh to the world and to support close to 10,000 jobs, the education of more than 39,000 students and invaluable academic research. I hope this award goes some way towards recognising all that he has achieved for, and on behalf of, the city.

Cllr Frank Ross, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh


As with the 10 previous winners of the Award, a cast of Sir Timothy's handprints have been set in a flagstone outside the City Chambers on the High Street.  They will sit alongside those of Professor Peter Higgs, who won a Nobel Prize in Physics, Olympic medallist Sir Chris Hoy, and others distinguished by this honour.

Sir Timothy will retire in January, having presided over a period of significant growth at the University which has seen Edinburgh consistently ranked among the world’s leading universities.

Amongst many other commitments, Sir Timothy is also the Chair of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.  


As someone who loves the city and enjoys living and working here so much, I am delighted to receive this award. As Principal of the University for 15 years, and Chair of the Fringe for the past five, I have seen at close quarters how the Council has helped both to flourish. It has been an enormous pleasure to work with them in promoting Edinburgh.

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor