History of Edinburgh Napier University

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1550 - John Napier, the inventor of logarithms and the decimal point, was born in the
medieval tower house of Merchiston Castle.

1958 - Merchiston Tower was saved from demolition with funding from the Ministry of Public
Buildings & Works, and Edinburgh Corporation began restoring the tower which was to be the
focal point for a new college named after John Napier.

August 1964 - Napier Technical College opened its doors to students at Merchiston under
the leadership of Dr Joseph Dunning. About 100 academic staff taught around 800 students,
most of who were studying on part-time City & Guilds or National Certificate courses. Fees for
such courses were typically about 42/- (£2.10).

Napier offered a range of courses including coopering, cabinet making and boat building, as
well as courses in chemistry and physics, mechanical and electrical engineering and building.

1966 - Renamed Napier College of Science and Technology.

1971 - Napier offered its first degree course, BSc Science with Industrial Studies with others
soon to follow. The need for full-time courses was outgrowing the need for part-time
education, diploma courses and courses leading to professional qualifications.

1974 - Edinburgh College of Commerce, based at Sighthill, and Napier College of Science
and Technology merged to become Napier College of Commerce and Technology, which
gave Napier 4 faculties.

1975 - Napier was offering 5 degree courses.

1985 - Napier was offering 29 degree courses.

1986 - Renamed Napier Polytechnic and became the first institution in Scotland to gain full
accreditation from the Council for National Academic Awards and to receive permission to
validate and monitor its degree courses.

1986 - The Scottish Education Department took over control of Napier from Lothian Region
and bought the magnificent buildings of the former St Andrews College at Craiglockhart for
Napier. War poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon recuperated at Craiglockhart when it
was a hospital for shell-shocked officers during the First World War.

September 1987 - The new Craiglockhart Campus was opened by Prime Minister Margaret

June 1992 - The institution officially became Napier University. At a ceremony witnessed by
over 700 staff and students, Lord James Douglas Hamilton and the then Principal, Professor
William Turmeau, unveiled the new University sign at Merchiston.

July 1992 - The Lord Lieutenant of Edinburgh, the Rt Hon Norman Irons, formally
inaugurated the University and its first Chancellor, Lord Younger of Prestwick, was installed.

April 1994 - Napier acquired the buildings and grounds of the former Thomas Clouston Clinic
at Craighouse in south-west Edinburgh.

September 1994 - Professor John Mavor, formerly Dean of Science and Engineering at the
University of Edinburgh, took over as Principal & Vice-Chancellor.

June 1995 - The University launched its major new fund-raising venture, Campaign

1996 saw 3 milestones in the University’s history:

Firstly, a new Faculty of Health Studies was set up as a result of the merger of Lothian
College of Health Studies and the Scottish Borders College of Nursing with Napier. This
brought the Canaan Lane, Comely Bank and Melrose Place campuses into the University.

Secondly, the University launched a major new Transport Research Institute, which aims to
be at the leading edge of research into global transport and transport-related areas.

Thirdly, the ‘new’ campus at Craighouse came into commission in the autumn, as the first
phase of the University’s accommodation strategy was completed.

October 2001 - the £7million Jack Kilby Centre, a purpose built 500 PC computer lab with 24-
hour access, was opened at Merchiston, as well as the new Apex café to complement the
Triangle restaurant which opened in October 2000.

2003 - Prof Joan K Stringer joined the University as Principal & Vice-Chancellor - the first
female Principal to be appointed in Scotland at that time.

2004 - The opening of the new £30million Business School at Craiglockhart.

2007 - The University faculties restructured to provide a more streamlined service to students,
and announced the second stage of a major Estate Strategy, to develop one campus per