The Sir Walter Scott Circle

Portrait of Sir Walter Scott by Raeburn

One of Heriot-Watt's first philanthropic donors was writer, advocate and historian, Sir Walter Scott. His vision of creating a society where education is a right and not a privilege resonates to this day and to emulate his contribution to students of Heriot-Watt in years gone by, The Sir Walter Scott Circle has been created to build a community of philanthropists who support the needs of our students.

As the world celebrates the 250th anniversary of Scott's birth in 2021, Heriot-Watt will also be celebrating its bicentennial year, and part of these plans include the launch of the Sir Walter Scott Circle. Heriot-Watt has long held Scott's vision of providing access to education and the circle will focus on providing access bursaries to students most in need. 

A lifeline to students

While the pandemic continues to affect every aspect of our lives, more and more students are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their way through higher education. An access bursary can make the difference between financial security and taking on thousands of pounds worth of debt; or causing unnecessary amounts of stress to those who are unable to engage in part-time work due to restricted opportunities during the pandemic. Quite simply, access bursaries provide a lifeline to students who would not normally be able to access an outstanding higher education. 

Due to such high demand for access bursaries, Heriot-Watt is currently only able to provide support to 1 in every 4 who apply.

How you can help

With your help, we can provide financial assistance so that many more students can access education, successfully complete their studies, and become one of the leaders of tomorrow. For those who give a total of £1,000 or more annually, we welcome you to The Sir Walter Scott Circle as an expression of our gratitude.

Circle members can expect benefits including an invitation to an annual event at the university to meet with students who have benefited from their generosity and to meet academics and researchers who are supporting them on their journey. This opportunity will enable members of the circle to hear first-hand about the direct impact of their gift.

For an informal conversation or to join The Sir Walter Scott Circle, please contact Fiona Robertson, Stewardship Officer,

Key information

Fred Johnson