Universities (Scotland) Act 1858

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The Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 largely removed control of university affairs from the Town Council of Edinburgh, investing it in the university itself through the following measures:

  • The establishment of a General Council consisting of all the graduates of the University
  • The creation of the office of Chancellor to be elected by the General Council
  • The creation of Curators of Patronage to assume responsibility for university appointments (including the Principalship). There were to be seven curators, four appointed by the Town Council and three by the the General Council.

Other significant measures included:

  • Removing the requirement that the Principal be a Minister of the Church of Scotland
  • Increasing stipends for professors
  • Providing pensions for retired professors
  • Creating new chairs
  • Appointing assistants to professors (i.e. lecturers)