Skip to main content

Timeline :: Edinburgh Ladies' Educational Association established

Silhouette for no photo

On 15 October 1868, the Edinburgh Ladies' Educational Association was founded at 1 Inverleith Terrace, Edinburgh.

The 1860s saw a nationwide campaign in favour of university education for women. In Edinburgh, Sophia Jex-Blake (1940-1912) fought for the right for women to attend medical classes in the Extra-Mural School, achieving victory in 1869. The Edinburgh Ladies' Education Association took a different approach, as Mary Crudelius (1839-1877) and others sought instead to build up support among male academics. The stress was on the cultivation and improvement of female minds through its lectures. With a change in name to the Edinburgh Association for the University Education of Women,  the organization continued to attract students to its classes, and to campaign to obtain a university education for women. In the end, the debate produced the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1889, which led to the drawing up of Regulations for the Graduation of Women and for their instruction in the Universities in 1892.

Source: Edinburgh University archives