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University of Edinburgh

Member Profile

University of Edinburgh

Who are University of Edinburgh?

University of Edinburgh – Influencing the World Since 1583

Established by Royal Charter in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is a large and diverse research-intensive university ranked fourth in the UK and first in Scotland in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The University is home to some 33,000 students - comprising 21,700 undergraduates and 11,300 postgraduates - and over 12,000 staff of whom around half are academic.

We are proud to say that we are an international university and indeed we have been since our very early days. The breadth of our international partnerships has a really positive impact on the overall student experience at Edinburgh. That is not only manifested in the cultural diversity of campus life but also in the unique and collaborative opportunities we can offer our students with our many and varied partners overseas.

What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women's recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are University of Edinburgh involved in?

Gender equality is an issue that is crucially important to Edinburgh as an institution. The importance of gender equality is signalled to our own staff and students and to our external partners by the inclusion of targets in the University’s 2012-17 Strategic Plan:

  • to increase the proportion of female academic staff appointed and promoted to Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor levels,
  • to reduce the gender pay gap for University staff,
  • to achieve the institutional Athena SWAN Silver award.

In 2015, Edinburgh achieved the prestigious Silver Institution award from the Athena SWAN initiative. The University is one of only seven Institutions in the UK, and the first in Scotland, to hold this higher level of award. The University is one of the original members of the Athena SWAN Charter, which was launched in 2005. All STEMM Schools/Departments now hold Athena SWAN awards across the University.

The University also participated in the Gender Equality Mark (GEM) pilot in 2014 with two Schools/Departments in our College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS) successfully awarded. All remaining non-STEMM Schools in CHSS are working towards submissions for AS/GEM awards in 2015/16.

The University’s plethora of initiatives in support of its Strategic Targets (above) are implemented at the appropriate level in its devolved structure: University, College and School, mapping to the stage of the individual’s ‘employment journey’. At the recruitment stage, gender audits inform improved recruitment strategies, many of our Schools engage with initiatives to increase participation of women, such as Equate Scotland’s Careerwise placement scheme, the induction process introduces new recruits to the range of supports such as Flexible Working and other Family Friendly supports, Career Development Workshops, support for maternity/adoption/surrogacy and enhanced shared parental leave and return to work, the University Mentoring Scheme and Leadership Programme. 

Why did University of Edinburgh join WISE?

“We joined WISE to complement other initiatives and achievements, e.g. our Athena SWAN Awards, which help us attract and support female students and staff. This is particularly important for the Edinburgh School of Engineering which is growing rapidly in response to student demand, employer demand, and burgeoning research portfolio.”

Photo: Participants at 4th annual University of Edinburgh Women in STEMM Workshop on the 23rd of June 2015 to coincide with National Women in Engineering Day.

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