THE University of Edinburgh has launched a social media campaign aimed at attracting new students from overseas.
The joint initiative by the university and promotional agency Marketing Edinburgh will use Facebook and Google to target around one million potential students in the United States and south-east Asia.
It includes a two-minute video starring four foreign undergraduates currently studying in the city and showcases the social and educational benefits of life in Scotland’s capital.
The university declined to reveal how much the advertising campaign had cost, but the move is part of its strategy to expand its intake of international students.
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh principal, said: “As a university with a strong international reputation, rooted firmly in Scotland’s capital, we are committed to attracting the best students from around the world.
“Edinburgh is a highly attractive destination for students. This campaign will help to raise awareness of the exceptional educational experience that the university – and the wider city – offers to those who choose to study here.”
Councillor Frank Ross, convener of the economic committee at City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Students are extremely valuable to Edinburgh’s economy and contribute around £7 billion per year to the wider UK economy.
“They also create a strong graduate talent pool in the Capital, attracting world-leading organisations and businesses to Edinburgh such as Amazon, Skyscanner and FanDuel.
“Currently there is a real buzz in the technology industry in Edinburgh, which greatly benefits from the talented students who graduate every year.”
John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “There is a symbiotic relationship between the city and the University of Edinburgh.
“Students want to study in a world-leading university, but the quality of life experience that a location has to offer is just as crucial, and Edinburgh, with its stunning backdrop, rich history and vibrant, cultural heritage, offers exactly that.
“Students choose the city they wish to study in as much as the university. That is at the heart of this campaign.”
Founded in 1582, Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s group of ancient universities, along with St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Edinburgh University is currently rated 17th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings and enjoys global recognition as a hub of innovation and research excellence.
Some major figures of modern history were students at the university, including naturalist Charles Darwin, philosopher David Hume, telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell.
Authors Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, JM Barrie and Sir Walter Scott are also counted among the university’s famous alumni.
More than 14,000 international students were enrolled on a wide range of courses at the institution in the past year.