The new base will aid collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and its partners in education, business and government across Canada and the USA. It will also provide a point of contact for prospective students and help strengthen ties with the more than 20,000 Edinburgh alumni in North America .
The University enjoy links with North America that date from the 17th century. Universities across Canada and the US were established and influenced by those with an Edinburgh education.
Edinburgh is the most popular destination for UK-bound American students and is one of the top choices for Canadians choosing to study in the UK.
The University of Edinburgh possessed a set of truly great men, professors of several branches of knowledge, as have ever appeared in any age or country.
Benjamin Franklin - One of the Founding Father of the United States
To mark the opening of the new office, the University is to fund two new scholarships to support outstanding students from North America. The John Witherspoon Masters Scholarships - each worth up to $35,000 - will be available for students to study a postgraduate Masters degree in any field for the 2015-2016 academic year.
The scholarships are named in honour of one of the University’s most distinguished graduates. John Witherspoon transformed what would become Princeton University into a powerhouse of American learning, and was one of two Edinburgh graduates who signed the US Declaration of Independence.
North America is of immense importance to the University and I believe the opening of this new office will extend and deepen the already strong links we have across the USA and Canada. North American students make a vital contribution to life at Edinburgh and our research collaborations are helping address global challenges such as climate change, health, and economic development. The North America Office will help further with this important work.
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal, the University of Edinburgh
The University is hosting a series of events in New York City to coincide with the launch. These include a review, by Professor Charlie Jeffery, of Scotland’s political landscape in the aftermath of the recent independence referendum, which saw Scots voting in favour of remaining part of the UK.
Other events include a demonstration, by Professor Harald Haas, of a new high-speed wireless technology called Li-Fi. The technology, developed by Professor Haas, uses light to send information securely and at far greater speed than traditional wi-fi.
The need to improve healthcare provision in developing countries, and to address environmental challenges, will be the subject of a one-day conference, involving the University's Global Academies, the Clinton Foundation, the United Nations, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and academic partner institutions.
Meanwhile, Scottish history professor Sir Tom Devine will deliver a talk examining the links between the University of Edinburgh and North America, entitled "Enemy or Friend? The Scottish factor in the origins of the USA."
Scotland’s unique low carbon innovation and education hub - the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) - will also have a presence at the new New York base. ECCI brings together governments, businesses, communities, students and academics to meet the challenges of creating a low carbon future and providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, innovation, skills and expertise. ECCI is based within the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences.
Source: University of Edinburgh