Edinburgh Local

Highlights 2016-19

We have made great progress in the few years since our initial Community Engagement Strategy was approved in 2016, but we know we need to go further and redouble our efforts to ensure the University is integrated into the city and its communities.

Highlights since 2016 include the following:



Edinburgh was one of the first universities to sign up to the Scottish Government's Social Impact Pledge.


In 2019–20, the Centre for Open Learning’s Short Courses and Languages for All programmes attracted 8,000 registrations, from learners aged between 18 and 92.



Staff and students piloted the remote teaching of basic digital skills to adults with disabilities and minority ethnic women in partnership with the charities LEAD Scotland and Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre.



St Cecilia’s Hall hosted 62 concerts and events ranging from community groups to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 2019, over 42,000 visitors enjoyed exhibitions and events at University of Edinburgh museums such as the Talbot Rice Gallery and St Cecilia’s Hall.


Our Digital Ambassadors programme has helped over 130 people through 300 one-to-one digital befriending meetings, eight courses and at least 100 University student and staff volunteers.


We have increased our engagement with community councils, development trusts and neighbourhood groups. In 2019 alone, the University was represented at over 50 meetings with community groups.



Support to local homelessness services, including the donation of PPE for frontline workers and delivering food, toiletries and clothing to people living in temporary hotel accommodation during the lockdown.



Community sports groups, governing bodies and members of our local communities have access to our sports and exercise facilities. Fifty per cent of bookings at Peffermill are from the community.



Over 1,400 people receive our monthly Edinburgh Local e-newsletter and over 3,000 people follow us on social media.


In response to the pandemic, an estimated 500kg of clothing was donated by staff to local charities in need.


An additional £25,000 of rapid-response grant funding provided to local community organisations involved with the Covid-19 emergency response.