Community Relations

Founded by the Town Council in 1583, the University is very proud to be the oldest civic foundation in the English-speaking world.

Our buildings, our staff and our students have been an integral part of the fabric of the city for over four centuries and we work hard to foster good relationships with the local communities in which we are located and where we live.

We have renewed our commitment to local communities through our Community Plan 2020-2025. It has 32 commitments that cover everything from expanding volunteering, opening up our spaces and getting involved in local events.

View our Community Plan 2020-2025

Since 2017, our Community Grants scheme has delivered over £500,000 in support to local projects tackling pressing social issues across the Edinburgh City Region, encompassing six council areas.

Find out more about our Community Grants scheme.

We have also developed the Edinburgh Local initiative which is creating an informative interface and a vibrant dialogue between the University and local people.

Learn more about the Edinburgh Local initiative

We can help staff and students:

  • By offering advice on working with the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils as well as local neighbourhood and community groups
  • By offering advice on issues where a strong relationship with the community and staff and/or students is important
  • By showcasing projects which take place in the community and identifying partners

We can work with local citizens, businesses and community groups to:

  • Identify who best to contact within the University to answer enquiries
  • Arrange visits to our museums, galleries and special collections
  • Contact relevant staff/student co-ordinators to support volunteering opportunities

Contact us

Stuart Tooley

Head of Public Affairs

Head-shot of Stuart Tooley

Communications and Marketing

Work: +44 (0)131 650 3727


Frances Johnson

Stakeholder Relations Officer

Communications and Marketing


Isla Parker

Gaelic and Community Relations Officer

Communications and Marketing


Jenna Bogan

Community Team Modern Apprentice 

Communications and Marketing


Lynn McMath

Deputy Director, Stakeholder Relations

Communications and Marketing


Contact us through an online sign language interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact the University of Edinburgh via Contact Scotland BSL, the online British Sign Language video relay interpreting service.

Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website