In Edinburgh, 80,700 students were enrolled in further or higher education in 2016, one of the UK's highest student concentrations. Compared to other UK cities, Edinburgh has the highest proportion of non-UK students and the highest proportion of EU students. Approximately 55% of Edinburgh's working age population are educated to degree level or equivalent, while 93% of Edinburgh school leavers entered positive destinations (education or employment) in 2016.
Edinburgh's universities are among the top in Scotland and reputed internationally for their research excellence in disciplines such as life sciences, medicine and informatics.
There are four universities in and around Edinburgh, all of them offering an exceptionally high standard of higher education; University of Edinburgh; Heriot-Watt University; Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University
The city’s largest university, the University of Edinburgh, is regularly ranked one of the top higher education institutions in the world in prestigious indices such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Edinburgh’s universities attract high-calibre students from all over the world. There are over 60,000 students enrolled in Edinburgh’s universities, which collectively produce over 15,000 graduates each year.
Further and Higher Education Colleges
In addition to its universities, there are six further and higher education colleges across the Edinburgh city region. These include the newly formed Edinburgh College (Scotland's largest college, with four main campuses in Edinburgh and the Lothians), Fife College, Forth Valley College, Leith School of Art, Newbattle Abbey College and Scotland's Rural College.
Further education colleges offer courses for people over the age of sixteen, involving school-level qualifications such as Higher Grade exams, as well as work-based learning. Higher education colleges offer degree-level courses, such as diplomas.
Independent and State Schools
Edinburgh has a rich variety of prestigious schools catering for a full range of educational needs, spanning the state and independent sectors offering co-educational, same sex, day and boarding options from impressive nursery school provision to the best in higher education.
Edinburgh also has a high proportion of prestigious independent schools, with 23% of Scotland’s privately run schools located within the city. One out of every thirteen primary and secondary students go to an independent school in Edinburgh.
Pre-school early learning and childcare
Pre-school early learning and childcare aims to encourage children aged between two and five years old to learn and develop in a caring and nurturing setting. All children can get a free part-time place at a council nursery, or funding towards a place at a private one. This is known as a funded nursery place. When your child starts their funded nursery place depends on their date of birth.
Find local nurseries and read about alternative childcare options for two to five year olds on the City of Edinburgh Council's website.