Chris Cox, Vice-Principal Philanthropy, welcomes you to this issue of Edinburgh Friends.

Chris Cox
Chris Cox pictured in McEwan Hall by Tricia Malley/Ross Gillespie

The University of Edinburgh is brimming with assets: a vibrant, international student population; world-leading thought and study;the vital research that is directly affecting the world we live in; and an evolving campus in a beautiful city that manages to marry the traditional with the very modern.

And the common factor to be found across these assets? People.

In these pages you will read not only about the ground-breaking projects that have made the past year one of the University’s most ambitious – including major new developments for environmental research and combating heart disease – but you will also hear from the people who are making it all possible. Staff, students, alumni and supporters are now more than ever before working together as one community to ensure the success of our work both locally and globally.

Take the Edinburgh Futures Institute led by Lesley McAra, our Assistant Principal for Community Relations. At a time when the world is facing the growing challenges of inequality, artificial intelligence and big data, the Institute is leading the way in bringing together great minds, corporate entities, government bodies and the public to generate ideas and tools for the common good. Edinburgh is ideally placed to achieve this.

Read 'Bright Future' feature

You can also read about our progress in outreach work, taking the University outwith its traditional realms to engage with the immediate community and, in particular, those who may not have considered studying here. The relationship between our current students and alumni is strengthening, too, with our Local and Global Insights initiative bringing the two together in an exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Breaking down barriers, building opportunities

WATCH: Two way street

The Scotland Scholarship in action

And we also look at the role data driven innovation will play in creating new solutions, both here in Scotland and around the world, as a team of highly-skilled and innovative scientists takes on the task of deciphering and utilising big data and the areas of society set to benefit.

Designs on being Europe's data capital

Our people are at the centre of every achievement and project outlined in this magazine – and that includes you. Without the support of our alumni and friends, much of this would not be possible. Thank you!

Related links