University description (as per official university website)
The University of Aberdeen is Scotland's third oldest and the fifth oldest in the UK. Aberdeen is an international university built on serving one of the most dynamic regions of Europe. With over 13,000 students, and over 3000 staff, we are at the forefront of teaching and research in medicine, the humanities and sciences.
Picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen - home of Elphinstone's original foundation - is now the main university site, only one mile from the city centre. The 15th century remains very much alive in King's College, offering a sense of history in the daily life of a university now focused on the needs of the new millennium.
Founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, The University of Aberdeen is Scotland's third oldest and the UK's fifth oldest University.
William Elphinstone established King's College to train doctors, teachers and clergy for the communities of northern Scotland, and lawyers and administrators to serve the Scottish Crown. Much of the King's College still remains today, as do the proud traditions, which the Bishop began.
The university opened with 36 staff and students and, in 1497, boasted the first chair of medicine in the English-speaking world. But the college also looked outward to the wider world of Europe and beyond, taking the great European universities of Paris and Bologna as its model, Elphinstone's college embraced all the known branches of learning Arts, Theology, and Canon and Civil Law.
In 1593, a second, Post- Reformation University, was founded in the heart of the New Town of Aberdeen by George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal, and until King's College and Marischal College were united to form the modern University of Aberdeen in 1860, Aberdeen had two universities. At first, Arts and Divinity were taught at King's and Law and Medicine at Marischal; a separate Science Faculty - also at Marischal - was only established in 1892. The university opened all Faculties to women in 1892, and in 1894 the first 20 matriculated female students began their studies. Four women graduated in arts in 1898; by the following year, women made up a quarter of the faculty.
Throughout the 20 th century, particularly since the 1950s, Aberdeen consistently increased student recruitment, which is now in excess of 10,000. In the last 10 years, picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen, home of Bishop Elphinstone's original foundation, has again become the main university site.
The University has also invested heavily in medical research, where time and again University staff have demonstrated their skills as world leaders in their field. The custom-built Institute of Medical Sciences, completed in 2002, was designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities for medical researchers and their students.
In 1999, the University launched its ambitious fund-raising campaign, The Sixth Century Campaign, to mark the start of the University's sixth century of existence. With the support of HRH The Prince of Wales as Campaign Patron, our aim is to raise £150 million by 2010.
The fact that the University has become what it is owes much to the determination and vision of a very few individuals, including a distinguished list of scholars who in their own unique ways, helped to shape the University into the world-class institute we have today.