The University’s roots go back to 1821 with the establishment of the School of Arts of Edinburgh.
The University is therefore celebrating this year its bicentenary anniversary. The School of Arts was the world’s first Mechanics Institute, marking the start of a worldwide movement that would revolutionise access to education in science and technology for ordinary people with the purpose of addressing societal needs. The institution developed into the Watt Institution and School of Arts in 1852 and, in 1855, the Heriot-Watt College with the focus on “the practical application of knowledge and learning for the betterment of society” remaining a defining characteristic. In 1966 the College became Heriot-Watt University, established by Royal Charter, since which time we have continued to focus on innovating and exchanging knowledge for the benefit of society, delivering professionally relevant and career-focused teaching, and developing world-leading innovative research that provides practical solutions to contemporary issues.