North America takes centre stage

The University is staging a series of ‘pop-up’ events in Canada and the US.

An Edinburgh delegation will take part in events in Washington DC, New York City and Toronto that engage with alumni and encourage new partnerships.

The trip will include recruitment events, discussions with existing and potential collaborators and alumni receptions. It will be led by Senior Vice-Principal Professor Charlie Jeffery and Vice-Principal International Professor James Smith.

Keep up to date

A blog will provide information on the various activities and events, and will include articles, photos and videos. It can be found at:

Improving healthcare

Global Health is one of the main themes of the trip. Dr Liz Grant and Professor David Weller from the University’s Global Health Academy will lead discussions with a range of key partners.

The trip has been timed to coincide with the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015, which is meeting to discuss its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire at the end of 2015. They are a new set of values, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.

The Global Health academy will host a symposium on building sustainable health care in New York, ahead of the UN meeting. It will enable key partners to meet Edinburgh staff and discuss what the University is doing to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

The trip will also encourage discussion around Edinburgh’s work in matters concerning the environment, economics, social development, global justice, and business.

This trip is about making connections: with people, with partners, with our alumni and through global conversations that will potentially shape the future of global health, poverty alleviation and how we deal with climate change. These are conversations that Edinburgh academics are at the heart of, and are central to, our mission as a globally-engaged university.

Professor James SmithVice-Principal International

History of partnerships

The University enjoys centuries-old relationships with Canada and the US. Today, Edinburgh welcomes the largest number of American and Canadian students of any university in the UK.

Edinburgh has been a favoured destination for students from North America since the 17th century. Two signatories of the US Declaration of Independence were Edinburgh graduates.

Our alumni, along with graduates of other Scottish universities, laid the foundations of the North American higher education system. John Witherspoon served as the sixth President of Princeton University and Dr John Morgan was co-founder of the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious School of Medicine, 250 years ago this year.

In Canada, Edinburgh alumni contributed to the foundation of McGill University in Montreal. Sir William Paterson KCMG transformed the University, as one of its first Principals, and four Edinburgh-trained doctors established McGill’s medical school, which followed the “Edinburgh curriculum”.

Edinburgh enjoys a rich tradition of scholarship and excellence in Transatlantic Studies. We are home to one of the largest groupings of American historians outside of the US. Our Centre of Canadian Studies is the largest in the UK.

Alumni networks are extensive, with active groups in New York City, Washington DC, Boston and Toronto.