University celebrates 50th Anniversary



2016 marks 50 years since Heriot-Watt attained University status, and the University will be marking the anniversary with a series of events across our campuses.

Among the key dates remembered will be:

  •   31 January – granting of the Royal Charter by Her Majesty the Queen
  •  1 February – announcement made in Parliament
  •  4 March – Royal Charter signed by the Queen
  •  October – first cohort of Heriot-Watt University 'Freshers' join the institution

The 50th anniversary celebrations will also see the launch of a new annual appeal to encourage philanthropic giving for the benefit of our students and their learning experience at Heriot-Watt.

The Royal Charter was awarded in recognition of Heriot-Watt's long-standing heritage, strengths, and experience of delivering high quality education, and the anniversary will be an opportunity to grow and strengthen relationships with alumni, current students and staff and the wider community. It will also allow the University community and stakeholders to consider the University's historic development, both since the granting of the Charter in 1966 and indeed back to the University's origins in 1821 as the world's first mechanics' institute.

As well as reflecting on the achievements of the past, the anniversary will be an opportunity to showcase the University's aims and potential for the next 50 years and to look forward to the bicentenary of the mechanics institute foundation in 2021.