EDINBURGH, February 25 /PRNewswire/ --

- Capital University Renamed in Move to Align Itself Closer With Host City

The latest milestone in Napier University's ambitious strategy for growth and development was unveiled today as it announced it is to change its name to become Edinburgh Napier University.

Incorporating Edinburgh directly into its name is designed to enhance the University's appeal at home and internationally and will contribute to achieving its ambition to be Scotland's leading modern university.

The new name is a central element of the University's strategy and reflects its position as an integral part of the academic - and wider - landscape of Scotland's capital. The move aims to harness the capital's global appeal as an exciting city in which to live and study and a centre of educational excellence in order to expand the University's reach outwith Scotland.

Edinburgh Napier University already has strong relationships in many countries including China, Hong Kong and India. Edinburgh Napier is already delivering a range of courses (including business, computing, design, life sciences, financial services and civil engineering), which see students begin their studies in their home country before completing them in Edinburgh. The University has also recently appointed a new director for India and will open its first Indian office in Hyderabad later this year. It plans to expand its current Hong Kong operation with the opening of a new Edinburgh Institute in April this year.

During 2007/08 the number of overseas students studying at Edinburgh Napier grew by over 15 per cent on the previous year. Recent figures(1) also show the University has the most non-UK students of all Scottish modern universities - as well as the highest number of students from France and India of all institutions in Scotland.

Already Scotland's leading higher education institution for graduate employability(2) Edinburgh Napier also boasts the innovative 'Confident Futures' initiative which is designed to enhance students' overall development and provide a competitive edge in the job market. Both The Independent Complete University Guide 2009 and The Times Good University Guide 2009 ranked Edinburgh Napier as the top university in Scotland for graduate prospects.

Commenting on the name change and the University's ambitions for the future, Edinburgh Napier Principal Joan Stringer said: Today is a momentous occasion for the University as we unveil the new name of Edinburgh Napier University, a change which will play a key part in our wider strategic vision and one designed to strengthen our visibility and reputation in the UK and overseas.

Our name change marks a significant investment in our future. By declaring our location within our name, we can ensure even greater interest in our university amongst students, academics and businesses, not only across the UK but so to across the world. The new title reaffirms our commitment to grow our university and to contribute more broadly to sustainable economic growth in Scotland. It is a significant step towards the realisation of our ambition to be the best modern university in Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop said: Scotland's universities have a key role to play in helping Scotland recover from the current economic downturn. They are not only businesses themselves, but also have a key part to play in ensuring our people have the right education and skills to enable them to contribute to Scotland's future economic success.

This is clearly an exciting time for Edinburgh Napier University, both here and abroad. The change of name will help establish it more clearly on the worldwide map, will bolster awareness of it as an organisation and help boost its reputation for teaching and research both within the UK and overseas.

However, as important as the new name is, it forms only part of the University's ambitious plans for the future. Building on this change, it will be seeking to create new partnerships with individuals and organisations around the world. It also plans to undertake an impressive GBP100m project to rejuvenate the University's estate to improve facilities for staff and students alike and contributing to our ongoing efforts to support the local and national economy during these difficult economic times. In parallel with its ongoing internationalisation programme, Edinburgh Napier University is also presently undertaking a GBP100m estates investment programme to deliver major redevelopment of its campuses, to improve students' learning experiences, deepen their subject understanding and enhance subsequent career prospects. This investment - and associated name change - will ultimately deliver more revenue into the University leading to new and improved student facilities.

Issued on behalf of Edinburgh Napier University by The BIG Partnership

Notes to editors

(1) The Higher Education Statistics Agency 2008.

(2) Edinburgh Napier University was ranked the top university in Scotland for Graduate Employability by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in 2008.

- Currently, there are around 190 students studying Edinburgh Napier programmes, delivered with partners in India, and over 500 studying within the University's campuses in Edinburgh. The University also has around 1700 students studying Edinburgh Napier programmes through partnerships in Hong Kong and over 550 students from China and Hong Kong studying at Edinburgh Napier. - Although Edinburgh Napier attracts students from all parts of the UK and overseas, recent research conducted by The University revealed a lack of awareness outwith Scotland as to where it was located. The research also found only 13 per cent of prospective students questioned in Belfast were aware the University was in Edinburgh, while 96 per cent of those questioned across Northern Ireland and the North of England believed that changing the name would increase awareness. - Edinburgh Napier is the leading institution on widening participation in Edinburgh. Over 96% of Napier's young full-time undergraduate entrants come from state schools and colleges.

For more information contact Bill Shaw or Barry McPherson at The BIG Partnership on: +44(0)131-555-5522 / +44(0)7974720669 (Bill) or +44(0)7824-638-457 (Barry) E: bill.shaw@bigpartnership.co.uk/ barry.mcpherson@bigpartnership.co.uk

For more information contact Bill Shaw or Barry McPherson at The BIG Partnership on: +44(0)131-555-5522 / +44(0)7974720669 (Bill) or +44(0)7824-638-457 (Barry) E: bill.shaw@bigpartnership.co.uk/barry.mcpherson@bigpartnership.co.uk