First Graduation of Female Students, 1893

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1893 saw the first graduation of female students at Edinburgh University.

The Universities (Scotland) Act 1889 led to the drawing up of Regulations for the Graduation of Women and for their instruction in Scottish universities in 1892. This was the culmination of a nationwide campaign which, in Edinburgh, was spearheaded by the Edinburgh Association for the University Education of Women. Originally founded in 1868 as the Edinburgh Ladies Education Association, this body offered classes on subjects as diverse as Mathematics, Moral Philosophy, Chemistry, Physiology, Botany and Bible Criticism. In 1874 a University Certificate in Arts was introduced, and by 1877 the Rules and Calendar of the Association were being printed in the University Calendar thus forging the link between the University of Edinburgh and the cause of women's education.

Women were first formally admitted to Edinburgh University in 1892, but Classes already attended at the Edinburgh Association for the University Education of Women were deemed to count towards degree requirements. Eight women were therefore able to graduate the following summer. They were:

  • Flora Philip
  • Amelia Hutchison Stirling
  • Maude Elizabeth Newbigin
  • Lilias Maitland
  • Mary Douie
  • Margaret Nairn
  • Frances Simson
  • Grace Fairley

Other University Events in 1893-94

See Also


  • Robert D. Anderson, 'The Construction of a Modern University', in Robert D. Anderson, Michael Lynch, and Nicholas Phillipson, The University of Edinburgh: An Illustrated History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003), pp. 103-207.
  • Sir Thomas Henry Holland, 'Introduction', in A. Logan Turner (ed.), History of the University of Edinburgh 1883-1933 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1933), pp. xiii-xxx.