Rector of the University of Edinburgh

Gordon Brown, elected Rector while a student, later served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Lord Rector of The University of Edinburgh is elected every three years by the students and staff at The University of Edinburgh. Seldom referred to as Lord Rector, the incumbent is more commonly known just as the Rector. As of March 2018, the current Rector is Ann Henderson, the second-ever woman to hold the post.


The Rector chairs the University's highest governing body, the University Court; in addition the Rector chairs meetings of the General Council in the absence of the Chancellor. In more recent years the role has included a function akin to that of an ombudsperson for the university community. In their position, the Rector can exert considerable influence in Court and in the body politic of the University. He/she can be well-informed about student and staff issues and concerns, can champion their causes, and can make sure that these issues are fully aired in Court.[1][2]