Heriot-Watt earns international recognition for actuarial research and teaching



Andrew Cairns
Professor Andrew Cairns

Heriot-Watt University has cemented its reputation as a leader in actuarial mathematics after being recognised by the world's largest professional actuarial organisation.

The Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics at the University's Edinburgh campus, is the first in Europe to have its status as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) renewed by the Society of Actuaries based in the US.

The award comes as the department celebrates its 50th year since its founding in 1972.

In renewing the CAE designation, the review team highlighted the quality of the Department’s actuarial research, the vibrancy of the Students’ Actuarial Society and its engagement with industry.

Professor Andrew Cairns from the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, led the renewal application. He said: “I want to thank the many staff, students, alumni and industry supporters who contributed to our application for CAE status.  We are delighted to have our CAE designation renewed and look forward to continuing our relationship with the Society of Actuaries. Research, and the impact that much of this has had on industry practice, forms a key strand of our activities alongside our world-class actuarial degrees. It is fantastic to have our achievements recognised in this way.”

Retaining CAE designation holds many benefits to the department including accessing additional funding for pioneering research and opening employment opportunities for graduates.   

The designation also recognises the achievements of Heriot-Watt alumni, including two past presidents of the UK’s actuarial professional body, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and many graduates in senior positions in insurance companies and actuarial consultancies around the world.

The Head of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Professor Sara Lombardo, added: “This is an excellent achievement for the Department that recognises the breadth and quality of our work in actuarial science.  Thank you to Professor Cairns and all those involved in the application!”

Heriot-Watt was the first university in Europe to be awarded the CAE in 2018. Its Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics was the first of its kind in the UK and is one of the world's leading centres for teaching and research in these areas.


Craig McManamon

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