Partner Universities and Contributors

The Converge Challenge is funded by a number of Scottish universities, the Scottish Funding Council, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and two supporting universities.

The Scottish Funding Council

The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, more commonly known as the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), is the public body that distributes funding from the Scottish Government to the country's colleges and universities.

It was set up by the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005, when the Scottish Further Education Funding Council and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council merged. The Council’s main role is to distribute funding to colleges and universities in Scotland.

University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is an ancient university founded in 1495 making it Scotland's third-oldest university and fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world.

The University has approximately 13,500 students from undergraduate to doctoral level, including many international students. There are also large numbers of Masters and PhD students. In addition, the university's Centre for Lifelong Learning acts as an extension college, offering higher education courses to the local community even for those without the usual qualifications for admission to degree-level study. A full range of disciplines are offered, including the liberal arts, science, social sciences, psychology, mathematics, engineering, law, medicine, education, computing science, music, divinity, theology and religious studies. In 2012, the university offered over 650 undergraduate degree programmes.

Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University was established in 1821 as the world's first mechanics' institute.

One of the oldest higher education institutions in the United Kingdom, it has been a university by Royal Charter since 1966. It has branch campuses in the Scottish Borders, Orkney, Dubai, and Putrajaya in Malaysia.

University of Dundee

The University of Dundee is internationally recognised for the quality of its teaching and research and has a core mission to transform lives across society.

More than 17,000 students are enrolled at Dundee, helping make the city Scotland’s most student-friendly. With high-quality teaching, world-leading research, and a £200 million investment in a compact, friendly campus with an unrivalled position in the heart of the city centre, the University of Dundee has been rated number one in Scotland and in the UK Top 10 for the past five years in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

We send more graduates into the professions than any other institution in Scotland and our graduates enjoy some of the highest starting salaries in the UK. Dundee celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, having been established as an independent University by Royal Charter in 1967 after a long association with the University of St Andrews.

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, receives approximately 47,000 applications every year, making it the third most popular university in the UK by volume of applicants.

The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the north.

University of Glasgow

Since 1451 the University of Glasgow has been tackling the world's challenges through creativity, innovation, curiosity and partnership. We have nurtured Nobel laureates and prime ministers, inventors and renowned thinkers, as they worked to push the boundaries of the possible.

We belong to the Russell Group, the UK's top 24 research-intensive universities, and we want to continue to change the world. Whether we're sharing expertise on climate change and disease prevention in developing countries or offering investment to kick-start new collaborations with growing companies, the benefits of an ever-expanding network of collaboration and partnership are wide-ranging and reciprocal.

Although the University is rooted in the city of Glasgow, we enjoy a global reputation. Each year we welcome more than 3,000 international students from over 120 different countries. Over the last three years our international student population (currently at 16%) has increased more than any other university in Scotland. We attract leading academics from around the world. Our staff come from more than 90 countries, and have strong collaborative research links with leading institutions across the world.

University of St. Andrews

The University of St Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world.

It was founded between 1410 and 1413, when a Papal Bull was issued by the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII to a school of higher learning formed by a small group of Augustinian clergy.

St Andrews has a diverse student body with over 30% of its intake consisting of international students from well over 100 countries, and with 15% of the student body coming from North America.

University of Stirling

As a top UK research-intensive university, the University of Stirling is committed to carrying out research which has a positive impact on communities across the globe – addressing real issues, providing solutions and helping to shape society.

Interdisciplinary in its approach, Stirling’s research informs its teaching curriculum and facilitates opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration between staff, students, industry partners and the wider community. In 2013, Stirling was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research in social marketing in the field of public health and is one of the UK’s leading research universities in: health and wellbeing; aquaculture, veterinary and food science; culture and society; the economy, business and management; and sport.

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde was named UK University of the Year in the 2012 Times Higher Education Awards. In particular, the University earned praise for its close links with business and industry, and commitment to making an impact on the global economy.

The University’s long-standing commitment to and support of the formation of spin-out companies is a significant contributor towards making this impact. Strathclyde was also named Entrepreneurial University of the year at the 2013 awards.

The next stage in the University’s development will see the launch of the Technology and Innovation Centre, revolutionising the way researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together. Up to 1200 researchers, engineers and project managers from academia and industry will work side-by-side in a state of the art building in the heart of Glasgow.

The University of Strathclyde has formed over 50 spin-out companies, of which around 40 are still trading in some form, making sales of approximately £80m per annum and employing around 800 people. Strathclyde spin-outs include winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the Converge Challenge. Strathclyde was ranked 2nd in Scotland and 5th in the UK in terms of spin-out formation between 2002 and 2012.

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