Sir Timothy O'Shea is presented with the Edinburgh Award

Professor Timothy O’Shea has been presented with the prestigious Edinburgh Award 2017.

Edinburgh Award

After 15 years at the helm of Capital’s biggest educational institution, the University of Edinburgh Principal was presented with the city’s biggest annual accolade at a ceremony within the City Chambers on Friday (10 November).

Joined by friends, family and fellows from the University, Sir Timothy was presented with an engraved Loving Cup from the Lord Provost Frank Ross and a bespoke poem by the Edinburgh Makar, celebrating the difference he has made to the City and students of Edinburg

His handprints have been immortalised on a flagstone outside the City Chambers, where they now sit next to the handprints of the 10 previous Edinburgh Award recipients, including fellow academic Professor Peter Higgs.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “Placing Scotland’s Capital on the world stage as a beacon of knowledge, research and further education; the University of Edinburgh promotes the city as an international leader for academic excellence.

“Driven in large part by Sir Timothy, the institution has expanded over the last 15 years and asserted itself as one of the top 25 academic institutions in the world under his watch. After successfully steering it through the challenges of the UK’s economic crisis, Sir Timothy has enhanced the profile of the University and, in doing so, the city for which he is thanked.

“Sir Timothy has done much to promote Edinburgh to the world and to support close to 10,000 FTE jobs, the education of more than 39,000 students, and invaluable academic research. I hope this award goes some way towards recognising all that he has achieved for and on behalf of the city.”

Sir Timothy will retire in January 2018 having presided over a period of significant growth, which has seen Edinburgh consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world. 

Sir Timothy O’Shea said: “As someone who loves the city and enjoys living and working here so much, I am delighted to receive this award. Having been Principal of the University for 15 years, and Chair of the Fringe for the past five, I have seen at close quarters how the Council has helped both to flourish. 


"The University and the Fringe have greatly benefited from the vision and energy demonstrated by councillors and officials. It has been an enormous pleasure to work with them in promoting Edinburgh.”

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