My Edinburgh Napier: Alicia Cope

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.

My Edinburgh Napier: Keith Walker

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 ( 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!

My first time in Edinburgh: Natalie Foster

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!

Nat watching the sunset up Calton Hill in Edinburgh City Centre


My Edinburgh Napier: Alan MacLachlan

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!


Visiting Edinburgh: A Navitas Staff perspetive

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!

Catherine enjoyed the bus tour. So much to take pictures of!
Catherine gets in the mood for some golf.
Extracting DNA from strawberries with our life-sciences faculty.


Visiting Edinburgh: a Nigerian perspective

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.

We’ve asked a few people who came to tell us about their time. We start today with Kelechi Ekpemu, who works for one of our key partners, TG Marchnata in Nigeria.

Hi, I am Kelechi Ekpemu from Nigeria; I attended the first Destination Edinburgh International Agent Conference in 2016.


This was my first trip to the United Kingdom and I was super excited. My expectations were very high. I was looking forward to seeing what the Capital of Scotland looked like. On arrival as I expected, I was warmly welcomed at the airport. On my way to the hotel, I kept on smiling as I beheld a very beautiful city indeed.

We had a well-planned Itinerary. We visited all three campuses at Craiglockhart, Sighthill and Merchiston, which have state of the art facilities.

It wasn’t all about the University though! I had been looking forward to the Ceilidh Dance and it was great fun. We also climbed up the Arthurs Seat, played golf, had the Scotch Whisky experience too and went on a bus tour round the city. OMG, I wasn’t going to forget the meals! Edinburgh is a very cultural city with lots of different meals beautifully prepared.

Edinburgh is the one tourist destination I would definitely visit again and again.

Post-golf posing!
Setting off up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in the middle of the city
The Edinburgh Bus Tour collected our visitors from the Craiglockhart Campus

My Edinburgh Napier: Shuna Marr


Hi, I’m Shuna Marr and I am and Lecturer and the Articulation Support Tutor for the Business School. I joined Edinburgh Napier University in March 2008.

For the first eight years I was a full-time lecturer and programme leader in Tourism, but I am currently working in a seconded post as Articulation Support Tutor for the Business School. With the help of colleagues, my role has been to put together a programme of support to help students make a successful transition from college to 2nd, 3rd or 4th year in university. That includes students who will make the transition from EIC to the main university.

The best thing about working at Edinburgh Napier is my colleagues. There is a real feeling of camaraderie that keeps us going. And the students, who make our job worthwhile.

Edinburgh is a very cosmopolitan city with lots to see and do all year round. My advice to new students would be that any new venture always seems scary because of fear of the unknown. But feel the fear and do it anyway.

Meet the locals

There’s nothing Edinburgh likes more than talking about itself. You might have noticed that on this blog…

sean-connery Chris Hoy.jpgacd

But as much as we love our mega famous city-born celebs like Sean Connery, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Chris Hoy, have a look at this link to read a bit more from those who live here and why they love it.

For example, here’s Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart talking about his love for Edinburgh.


Martin Wishart is an award-winning chef and restaurateur, who in 1999 established his eponymous Edinburgh restaurant. Situated in the historic port area of Leith, it was awarded a Michelin star in 2001, and has retained this accolade every year since. Following this success, Martin established a sister restaurant at Cameron House Hotel in Loch Lomond this success, which in turn received a Michelin Star in 2011. His most recent venture is The Honours, a contemporary brasserie in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

When I hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh’, the first thing that springs to mind is…
When I hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh’, the first thing that springs to mind is a vibrant, historic, fun and a very exiting city to live in and to visit. Edinburgh offers a magnificent spread of old and new combinations. There is also lots of things to see and do. Edinburgh Festivals in the summer, rugby weekends and of course, Hogmanay.  Where else would you like to be?

What makes you proud to live and work in the city?
I love the friendliness of people in Edinburgh.  I am so proud to belong to this unique city and always happy to show people around or to enjoy it myself with my family and friends. I also love working in Edinburgh, it’s a city that has it all without being too big, you’re just so close to the sea, the mountains.  It’s a perfect place to get fantastic fresh ingredients for me to cook with, such fish, shellfish, game and wonderful beef.

A perfect Day in Edinburgh ends with….
A perfect day in Edinburgh ends with a nice meal in one of the many restaurants that the city offer – followed by a pub crawl in the Grassmarket and Royal Mile. Couple of personal favourite Edinburgh pubs are Kay’s Bar and The Canny Man. I also really rate Blackfriars, a great place for a drink, but also the restaurant is really worth a visit.

Edinburgh still surprises me when…
Edinburgh still surprises me every day. Wherever you are in the city centre, you’re surrounded with things to look at and appreciate. The dominating presence of the Castle on the volcanic rocks, the unique New Town architecture and the great advantage of being near the sea, Edinburgh is packed with drama.

Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in the city-centre?

When it comes to eating out, we are spoiled for choice in Edinburgh no matter what your budget. Artisan Roast serves terrific coffee, while the delicious Turkish-Mediterranean cuisine at Café Truva on the Royal Mile is ideal for a quick, light lunch. For fish and shellfish it has to be a visit to Ondine in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.  And of course – I have to recommend The Honours for a night out and meal with friends! You have not tried the best meat in Scotland until you’ve tried a rib-eye steak perfectly cooked on our fantastic Josper grill. Delicious.

As a local my hidden gem that most visitors to Edinburgh may miss is…
If I’m in need a nice bottle of wine, the only place to go is Raeburn Fine Wines in Stockbridge where you can find rare and excellent wines.


Edinburgh Strollin’

One of the very finest things you can do in Edinburgh is just wander about and take it all the historic buildings and vistas. I took to the ‘Water of Leith‘ last weekend, to see Edinburgh’s New Town from foot.

The Water of Leith is Edinburgh’s hidden natural charm, meandering for 24 miles from its source in the Pentland Hills, through the heart of the city to its outflow into the Firth of Forth at Leith. The river is home to a wide variety of plants and animals from wild garlic and orchids to brown trout, heron, kingfisher and otters. If you don’t fancy the walk, jump on your bike and pedal your way across the Capital.