The University of Edinburgh , founded in 1582, is the sixth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university.
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 17th in the world by the 2013–14 and 2014–15 QS rankings. The Research Excellence Framework, a research ranking used by the UK government to determine future research funding, ranked Edinburgh 4th in the UK for research power. It is ranked 12th in the world in arts and humanities by the 2014–15 Times Higher Education Ranking. It is ranked the 15th most employable university in the world by the 2013 Global Employability University Ranking. It is ranked as the 6th best university in Europe by the U.S. News' Best Global Universities Ranking. It is a member of both theRussell Group, and the League of European Research Universities, a consortium of 21 research universities in Europe. It has the third largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, after the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.
The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.