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Heriot-Watt University

Sunday Times
Overview of Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University was established in 1821 as the world’s first institute for mechanics. It underwent a number of subsequent name changes and then, in 1966, became a university and was named Heriot-Watt University. The university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United Kingdom. The university has five campuses in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Dubai, Malaysia and Orkney. The Dubai campus was the first university campus in the UK to be established in Dubai International Academic City and has since expanded to double the number of students. Students are offered intercampus transfers if they wish to study abroad for a period of time as well as through the Erasmus programme. Known for its strength in science and engineering, it is one of the 39 old universities in the United Kingdom that comprises the second largest cluster of elite universities after Oxbridge. The most recent Research Excellence Framework ranked among the top 10 universities in the United Kingdom and the first in Scotland for research impact.

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Heriot-Watt has a total of six campuses: Edinburgh Campus, Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels, Dubai Campus in Dubai Academic City, Orkney Campus in Stromness in the north of Scotland, a fresh campus in Putrajaya in Malaysia for MBA learners and an affiliation with West London College. The primary campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh is one of the most modern in the UK. Travel connections with the Edinburgh Heriot-Watt and the Scottish Borders Campuses are outstanding. Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital town, which is why domestic and global transport connections are well established. The Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels, an appealing market town just an hour south of Edinburgh by highway. Direct air connections to and from Edinburgh are increasing all the time, as the town continues to evolve as a main European economic, business, cultural and tourism centre. Edinburgh Airport is only five minutes away by vehicle from Edinburgh Campus and there are frequent direct flights to London (only one hour), Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Zurich and New York, among others.

  • Irvine Welsh – Scottish novelist
  • Adam Crozier – Businessman
  • Shirley Robertson – British sailor
Fun Facts
  • Edinburgh Castle is constructed on an extinguished volcano.
  • The Royal Mile is a mile and 107 yards long. Edinburgh was the first town in the planet to have its own fire service.
  • J.K. Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter at the Edinburgh Café (The Elephant) and took inspiration from the landscape for his characters and locations.
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