Edinburgh Local

Celebration of Edinburgh's international community

University schools and groups took part in a national day of action, celebrating the contribution of migrants to the UK.

University staff standing together
University staff standing together

Co-ordinated by Edinburgh Global, departments from across the University took part in the national One Day Without Us campaign on Saturday 17th February, taking photographs to highlight the diversity and international makeup of their staff teams.

The University benefits greatly from student and staff mobility and collaborations across borders.

Edinburgh’s international students represent 43 per cent of the total University community, coming from 156 nations - 12 per cent of our student intake is from the EU and 30 per cent is from outside Europe. 

Just under a third of University’s staff are international - 33 per cent of University staff come from 105 nations – 19 per cent from the EU, and 12 per cent from outside Europe.

Around the University 

Many schools and departments, including the Centre for Global Health Research, the Roslin Institute, the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre and Edinburgh Global hosted international lunches. Staff from the School of Social and Political Science showed their support for Edinburgh’s international community with a series of events.

Staff were encouraged to highlight all the things the University would find it difficult to do without our international colleagues, whether that’s breakthrough research, teaching a course, or preparing food in one of our cafes.


Many people took to social media to express their appreciation for their international colleagues.


The University has been built on the global exchange of people, ideas and values and it’s important to recognise the huge contribution of our international community, support it, and celebrate it.

Professor James Smith, Vice Principal - International

An evening of celebration

The University also hosted a Ball for One Night Without Us which was an evening of celebration, solidarity, live music and dancing, and fundraising for The Welcoming, a charity that supports migrants and refugees to build new lives in Edinburgh. 

The night included food and music from around the world, including Spanish guitar music, South African dance, Reggae beats and Senegalese drums.

Related links

One Day Without Us

UN World Day of Social Justice

Social and Political Science

Edinburgh Global