Some Quick Facts about the University of Edinburgh and SPS

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Hello and welcome to the first Pre-Arrival Edinburgh blog!

Hopefully in the next few weeks this blog will offer helpful and fun advice and info on Edinburgh and the University itself from the perspective of a student at the School of Social and Political Science.

I thought it would be nice to start this series of posts off with 10 quick facts about the University of Edinburgh and the School of Social and Political Science!

1. The University of Edinburgh is one of the ancient universities of Scotland, and one of the oldest in the UK having been founded 430 years ago in 1583.

2. The School of Social and Political Science (SPS) is based in George Square in the Chrystal Macmillan Building (also known as CMB). Chrystal Macmillan was the first woman to graduate in science from the university in 1896 and was a key figure in the suffragette movement.

3. SPS is one of the largest schools in the university with a total of 1904 students (2011-12) enrolled. It is popular with postgraduates and undergraduates alike, with 993 undergrads and 911 postgrads. In total the university has over 31,000 students from across the world enrolled!

4. We are also home to both the oldest student union in the world (the beautiful building known as Teviot)

Teviot Row House

Teviot Row House

…and the UK’s oldest student newspaper The Student which was started by Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) in 1887.

5. Edinburgh Uni’s prestigious status can be seen from our illustrious list of alumni, including 3 UK Prime Ministers; former director of MI5, Stella Rimmington; astronaut Dr Piers Sellers; UK Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy and no less than 15 Nobel Prize Winners!

6. This year the “Therapets” scheme was introduced, through which dogs visited the uni during exam season to help stressed out students take a study break (way better than just procrastinating with videos of them).

7. For animal fans, you can also find a moose in the Teviot student’s union…or at least part of one. In the central stairwell you can find a mounted head of a moose, which inspired the name of the sweet shop in the foyer “The Chocolate Moose”.

8. The university is located next to The Meadows – a large expanse of green area – perfect for BBQs in summer and snowman building in the winter. On Wednesdays students can be found playing sports from cricket to rugby to ultimate frisbee to Quidditch (if you don’t believe me, ask the Harry Potter Society)!

9. Outside CMB you can find a plaque dedicated to  Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania and a former student of the university. Rumour has it that he invited his Edinburgh landlady from his student days to his presidential inauguration.

10.  SPS students are the most brilliant and awesome people on campus. Whilst this is an unofficial fact, I have always found it to be 100% true. 😉


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