Edinburgh University opens North American Office

The University of Edinburgh recently opened a new liaison office in New York City, with the goal of strengthening the University’s ties with North America.

The office, managed by Executive Director Joanna Storrar, will serve to strengthen the University’s relation- ships across North America, and serve as a hub for fundraising, research, alumni engagement, and recruitment.

To commemorate the opening of the office, the University funded two scholarships for North American students seeking to study a postgraduate Master’s degree.

The John Witherspoon Masters Scholarships, named after Edinburgh graduate and signer of the US Declaration of Independence John Witherspoon, will be available for one Princeton University graduate and one other student in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Bob Durkee, Vice President and Secretary of Princeton University said in a web video released by the University of Edinburgh: “Witherspoon’s impact on the early country of the United States of America is probably greater than any other single individual.”

The University also played host to numerous events in New York City to coincide with the opening.

Further highlighting in the link between North America and Edinburgh, Scottish historian and former Edinburgh professor Sir Tom Devine gave a talk entitled: “Enemy or Friend? The Scottish factor in the origins of the USA.”

Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice Principal and Professor of Politics, led a review of September’s independence referendum and its impact on Scotland’s political landscape.

Showcasing the University’s technological research, Harald Haas, Chair of Mobile Communications at the School of Engineering, demonstrated a high-speed wireless technology dubbed “Li-Fi”.

The University also hosted a one-day conference in New York focusing on the need to improve healthcare and address environmental challenges in developing countries, which saw a wide range of participants, including governmental organisations, industry representatives, and partner institutions and foundations.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, based in the School of Geosciences, will have “a presence” in the New York hub, according to a University news release.

The office joins three other overseas offices: the India Office, China Office, and Office of The Americas. Edinburgh is the most popular destination for American students choosing to study in the UK, and among the top UK universities selected by Canadians.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “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 American Office will help further with this important work.”

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