In what is great news for the film and TV sector in Scotland, planning permission has been granted for a new production studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The Association of Film and Television Practitioners Scotland, which represents some of those working in film and television, previously said it believed the sector was being badly affected by the lack of a studio space in Scotland.
The new facilities will support the booming film sector in our country.
Scotland’s most stunning sights have been given global exposure in a virtual travel app created by Edinburgh Napier expertise.
People across the world can now instantly walk through the prehistoric Orkney village of Skara Brae, soar high above Edinburgh Castle or journey into the depths of The Hollow Mountain of Ben Cruachan from the comfort of their own home.
The ScotlandVR app – a ground-breaking virtual reality travel experience which immerses web users in Scotland’s remarkable attractions – was launched recently by tourism body VisitScotland.
Featuring state-of-the art 360˚ imagery and footage, users start their journey in a virtual glen complete with mooing Highland Cow, crackling fire and bellowing stag. From there, they can jump into a map of Scotland and experience 26 unique attractions covering every part of the country.
The whole environment can be experienced in Stereoscopic 3D when used with a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset, or in 360˚ view using gyroscope technology in phone mode. Future phases of the software will see new attractions added through refreshed content.
The landmark locations in the launch app were chosen from criteria including footfall, product diversity, online searches and links to the current 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “A team from Edinburgh Napier University developed the concept for this app, which demonstrates the pioneering spirit and ingenuity of Scotland’s academic, technology and tourism sectors.”
ScotlandVR is available to download from Google Play and Apple Stores.
Taking inspiration from our friends in Finland, The Scottish Government’s new Baby Box initiative will see every newborn baby gifted a box of essential items, such as clothes, nappies and books to help ensure they get the best start in life. The primary focus of the scheme is to improve child health and to tackle infant mortality. It has already been implemented in a range of countries around the world.
And the exciting news is an Edinburgh Napier University student has won a nationwide competition to design the box. Leanne Young is in her final year of a Graphic Design degree at the University and is delighted to have won:
“It’s really exciting to be involved with the entire process and I’ve appreciated all the support and encouragement I have received from my mentors so far. The course at Edinburgh Napier has allowed me to develop my graphic design skills and allowed me to participate in this exciting new government initiative.”
You can read the whole article here, or watch the video below to hear Leanne talking about her win. EIC will soon be offering Graphic Design pathways. Watch this space for more!
Hi, I’m Peter Scott. I used to work at EIC but I’ve been working as an International Support Officer at Edinburgh Napier since May 2015.
My role is primarily about providing immigration and visa advice to our current and potential students. I help with visa extensions, advice on documents that are required and any other information that an applicant needs in order to have a better chance of a successful visa application. I also provide pastoral support to those students who require this and general advice on opening a bank account, travelling in the UK and Europe, providing letters of support and helping students if they have any problems or issues that they are not able to resolve themselves.
Being part of an educational institution brings us into contact with the student body and events and activities which are taking place at the University. I often do not feel that I am working in an office but part of a fun, interesting and rewarding organisation. I like that in my role I am helping people with visa advice that will hopefully help them gain a visa in order that they can study and gain that all important qualification which will help them in their future careers or businesses. I like to think that I play a small part in helping them on their journey.
As a city, Edinburgh is very cultured and diverse, with great architecture and nature on your doorstep. It is relatively small and compact and therefore easy to get around, with lots of good bars and restaurants and plenty of things to see and do.
My advice for students coming to Edinburgh would be to embrace the culture and differences and see the move as the start of their future, the start of something great, the beginning of your future career. Think of all the people you will get to meet and the things you will get to do! Remember that many people do not get the opportunity to go overseas for study or for visits so you are getting a great chance to do something many people would love to do. There is a lot of support at the University and if you feel homesick or are unsure of anything there are lots of people who are more than happy to sit down and listen to you and talk, including myself and my colleague in International Support.
Hi, I’m Alicia and I’ve been with EIC for over a year now – it’s really flown by.
I am Student Support Office at EIC and my role is mostly a mix of compliance and welfare, including orientation and transition. My role is definitely not fixed or boring – one minute I can be helping a student who is worrying about their visa and the next minute I can be organising a trip to Edinburgh Castle.
The best thing about working in a Uni is the frequent change, there’s always a group of new students, new ideas to be tried out and new challenges to undertake as we get bigger and better.
Edinburgh is a small city with a big heart. There are plenty of things to do and plenty of friends to make. It feels safe and yet exciting, familiar but quirky. My advice for students is to embrace everything! It is a great time to try new things as much as possible – arrive with an open mind and it’s amazing how much you will learn and grow in a small space of time.
Hi, I am Keith Walker and I’ve been with Edinburgh Napier for 14 years.
I am the subject librarian for Business. I liaise with academics to makes sure that we have the correct resources to support the teaching on the various programmes and modules. Resources include books, journals, e-journal databases, business information databases (market research reports, company information), e-books. I also teach staff and students how to use these resources efficiently. To help in this I have my own libguide (www.libguides.napier.ac.uk/nubs) which consists of links to the relevant resources for business, as well as video clips on things relevant to information literacy. Students can make appointments with me to discuss things 1-2-1.
The best thing about working at a University is being there to help staff and students find the right information they need to do their research. Developing student’s information and digital literacies is essential for academic success, but these are also skills that can be taken into professional and social life. I also like meeting the students and (hopefully!) being a person they feel they can approach if they have a question – whether it’s about the Library or something completely different.
The best thing about Edinburgh? Heart of Midlothian Football Club!
My advice for new students is obviously it is a big step and you are out of your comfort zone, but it could be the best experience of your life. Always remember that when you are here, there are so many people around to help you, give advice if needed, so you aren’t on your own!
Navitas UK have a central team of Admissions and Conversions officers who are based in Oxford in the UK in the Admissions and Recruitment Centre (The ARC). They work really closely with the staff in the colleges to ensure agents gets as smooth and quick a turnaround as possible on applications to all ten UK colleges. We thought it would be a good idea to get the team out and about to explore the cities in which the colleges are located, and we welcomed Natalie Foster to EIC. Here’s what she thought of her trip:
Hi, i’m Natalie Foster and I am based in the ARC for Navitas UK.
I recently visited Edinburgh on my first ever trip to Scotland and I already can’t wait to go back!
As I was only in the city the one day, the lovely Rachel had the BEST idea to show me the sights….a bus tour that served afternoon tea! If you want to see as much of Edinburgh as possible, I would definitely recommend giving one of these a go!! We saw many famous sights such as Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town, whilst working our way through a variety of sandwiches and cakes. They even let me sit in the driver’s seat.
We then went and visited the Craiglockhart Campus which is home to a lecture theatre like nowhere else, the Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre. This campus is ideal for our EIC students, with a well-equipped library, digital language labs equipped with the latest software and Wi-Fi network access available throughout the whole campus. We also visited our EIC Bainfield accommodation which was definitely some of the best University accommodation I have been to.
To end the day we went up Calton Hill and watched the sun set over the city, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen!
I can’t wait to go back and visit Edinburgh, one day definitely wasn’t long enough!
Hi, I’m Alan McLachlan. I have worked at Edinburgh Napier for almost four years.
I lead our Admissions, Visa and International Support, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and UK & EU Student Recruitment teams. Everyone within my teams are focussed on providing enquirers and applicants with an excellent level of service, providing a positive experience during the application process, helping with the transition into the University (particularly for students coming from overseas). Our EFL and Visa and International Support teams continue to provide support and advice to our rich community of international students when they are on their programme.
There are a number of great things about working at a University. The people – both academic and professional service staff are very dedicated to their work and to supporting our students. I also like seeing the difference that studying at University can make to students, both those who live just a few miles away and those who have moved here from the other side of the world. I’m fortunate that I get to see students at both ends of their journey – at the start when they first arrive, with a mix of nervousness and excitement about starting a new stage in their journey, and at Graduation where after much effort and hard work (plus hopefully some fun along the way) they achieve their goals and are often surrounded by proud family members. It makes for great job satisfaction.
I was born and brought up around Edinburgh so I am biased but I think there are very few places that can compare. The city is compact and easy to get around, with everything you would expect from a capital city on your doorstep whilst within half an hour you can be walking along a quiet sandy beach or exploring the wild hills and moors that surround the city. And then we have our festivals – we are luck that we don’t have to travel the world – the World comes to meet us as these festivals, where the best of the world’s arts, culture and people descend for us to enjoy.
Living and studying in a new country is life-changing, but one that will provide you with such a great depth of experience that it will set you up for the rest of your life. You will never be alone, from the friendliness of your host country – and us Scots are well known for our welcome – to the fact that with today’s technology, your friends and family are only a Skype call or FaceTime away from being in touch with you. Having travelled to different parts of the world nothing beats the excitement of exploring new places and learning about different cultures – the benefit of studying in a different country is that you really get to explore this in more detail and become embedded in where you liv. You will regard yourself as a honorary Scotsman/Scotswoman before you know it!
One thing that’s common about our students is they are often on a budget. It’s not easy balancing tuition fees and living costs, and also trying to have a good time too. Here’s a handy link to all the excellent things you can do for FREE in Edinburgh to share with students.
As mentioned last week, we are fortunate enough at the University to be able to host visitors from around the world for tours, conferences and events. Last April, EIC and Edinburgh Napier held their first Agent Conference, and we welcomed Navitas staff and agents to the campus to share with them what we do, and show them a little bit more about student life in this fair city.
Today’s perspective comes from Catherine Jefferies.
Hi, I am Catherine Jefferies and I am UK Regional Account Manager for Navitas UK, based in London.
Every chance I get to go to Edinburgh I jump at. Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to Edinburgh Napier University & EIC’s agent conference.
We were met with a welcome reception with the University vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrea Nolan, and the Navitas Europe CEO, Paul Lovegrove. From there an old-fashioned double-decker bus took us on a tour of the city. We sat at the top of the open-air bus, and although it was a cold day (snow on the mountains in the background!) it was well worth it! From the old buildings and cobbled streets to the castle and Arthur’s Seat beyond.
That evening we were taken out for some traditional Scottish food – haggis and tatties of course! And even sampled the delights of traditional Scottish dancing.
The following day we were taken to the university campus – impressive modern buildings with very friendly and approachable lecturers. I was most impressed by the Health Sciences facilities – in the labs we had a go at extracting DNA from strawberries.
It was a great event, and I cannot wait to return to Edinburgh!