The Scottish Government is looking at creating a new Cultural Diplomacy Academy at the University.
The proposed academy would not only provide understanding of the value of cultural activity and exchange, but would also deliver international research and expertise to businesses and government.
The government will now work with the British Council and the University to evaluate the feasibility of such an academy.
The sharing of culture is a hugely powerful means of international dialogue. A centre of excellence for cultural diplomacy based in Scotland would undoubtedly enhance Scotland’s international reputation.
The University has long played a leading role in society, both at home and abroad.
As a world-leading research university, it is committed to improving the world through academic discovery, improving people’s lives through advances in areas such as medicine and informatics.
Historically, the University was a major centre in the European and Scottish Enlightenment, and some of the world’s most distinguished scholars - including Charles Darwin, David Hume, Ian Wilmut and Peter Higgs - have studied or taught at Edinburgh.
In addition, the University is an important cultural centre. Its buildings are a key part of the city of Edinburgh - a UNESCO World Heritage Centre - and the University contributes significantly to Edinburgh’s world-famous arts Festivals.
It also hosts the UK’s oldest literary awards, the James Tait Black Prizes, while its students and alumni make valuable contributions across a wide range of fields, from literature to sport.
Given Edinburgh’s international status as a city of learning and culture, it is fitting that the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government should collaborate in this way, to the greater good of populations and peoples around the globe.