Heriot Watt University the first true "people's college"

Heriot-Watt University is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the UK. From its groundbreaking origins in 1821 as the Edinburgh School of Arts, it is the first Mechanics Institute to give ordinary people access to education in science and technology, Heriot-Watt has equipped its students to meet the rapidly evolving challenges of the modern world. Acclaimed as the first true "people's college", the Watt Institution was a pioneer of equal opportunities, with female students being welcomed as early as 1869, 20 years ahead of other institutions.

The name Heriot-Watt commemorates two iconic champions of innovation, enterprise and education. The University's name commemorates George Heriot, the 16th century philanthropist and financier to King James, and James Watt, the great 18th century inventor and engineer of the steam train. In 1852 the School bought its own building with money raised by a campaign to build an Edinburgh monument to celebrate the achievements of James Watt (1736-1819), the pioneer of steam power. In his honour, the School changed its name to the Watt Institution and School of Arts. In 1966 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second granted the Governors of Heriot-Watt College a Royal Charter to found a University.

Today, Heriot-Watt University is internationally renowned for its innovative education, enterprise and leading-edge research. With campuses in Scotland and Dubai and 17,000 students in 150 countries registered on its courses. Home to Europe's first Research Park, with a current turnover of over £70 million, the Park provides the best possible location for companies to undertake the development of new products, processes and services, with access to the services and facilities of the University.
Heriot-Watt is one of the UK's leading universities for business and industry and has a reputation for innovative education, enterprise and leading edge research in science, business, engineering and design.

Heriot-Watt is often referred to as Scotland's international University, with a third of on-campus students in Scotland coming from outside the UK. In recent years, Heriot-Watt has continued to achieve steady growth in the number of international students learning at Scottish campuses and notably growth was at 20% in the last two years. This has resulted in the University now being amongst the most successful UK Higher Education Institutions in attracting international students, now worth 20% of overall institutional income and in the region of £30 million per annum to the University. This success was recently noted in the Financial Times, profiling Heriot-Watt as second only to the London School of Economics in the UK in attracting such a high percentage of institutional income from international markets. International students accounted for 35% of the overall student numbers on Scottish campuses in 2010, making Heriot-Watt one of the most internationally diversified universities in the UK.

The University's global strategy is consistent with the philosophy of facilitating lifelong learning and access what was championed by its founders. Over the next ten years, the University will extend the availability of a Heriot-Watt education through the development of further overseas campuses and the development of its global partner network. The University's vision for the next decade is to become a world-leading university, producing the next generation of global leaders in business and technology. Heriot Watt is currently a leading institution in science, technology and business and excel as Scotland's most international university. Focus on the Future is an ambitious strategy which sets our direction to 2015. Through this the university aim to place Heriot-Watt at the forefront of research and research-led education in the UK and internationally.

The alumnus at Heriot Watt formally known as the Watt Club has a story of its own. Today the watt club is the oldest alumni association in the UK and fosters lifelong links with alumni throughout the world, with branches as far afield as Norway, Malaysia and Canada. The watt club is a social and professional network, in touch with over 50,000 alumni and alumnae worldwide.


  • Runner up in 2010 Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year Award
  • £34 million investment in building new residences in Edinburgh and Scottish Borders
  • Campuses to improve the student experience £35 million investment in the Dubai Campus
  • to treble capacity and accommodate up to 6,000 students
  • Psychology programme ranked No. 1 in the UK for teaching quality and student satisfaction by National Student Survey
  • Civil Engineering programme ranked No. 1 in Scotland by the Guardian
  • Buildings programmes ranked 1st in Scotland and 6th in the UK by the Independent
  • Art and Design programmes ranked 2nd in Scotland and 6th in the UK by the Independent
  • Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Business Studies and Economics programmes scored 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

Oxford College of Business is the Approved Learning Partner to deliver all Heriot Watt programs in Sri Lanka. Set-up in 2003, is one of the few professionally run premier Business Schools working for the accomplishment of a mission- 'To develop skilled business leaders for industry and business, by offering value-based quality education' in the field of Business. It has made rapid strides & merged as a business school of excellence for providing postgraduate programs, & modern management, by intensive and meaningful teaching methods, as well as regular inputs from an industry reputed faculty. Oxford College of Business grooms its students to excel as future corporate leaders, who can compete with the very best in the global arena and cater to the growing expectations of the corporate world.OCB has always been proactive in adapting to the changing needs of corporate sectors and takes great pride in currently offering Bachelor of Business Administration (internal) degree and MSc in Business Psychology from the prestigious Heriot Watt University.

For more information contact Malindu Ranasinghe - 0714151547 or visit

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