Hugh Robson (educator)

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Professor Sir Hugh Norwood Robson (18 October 1917 – 11 December 1977) was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield from 1966 to 1974 and Principal of Edinburgh University from 1974 to 1977. The Hugh Robson building in Edinburgh University is named after him, as is the Hugh Robson computer lab.

Robson was born at Langholm, Dumfriesshire. He graduated in medicine from Edinburgh University in 1941, returning as a lecturer in 1947 after serving as a surgeon lieutenant in the RNVR during the Second World War. He then became a senior lecturer at Aberdeen University, then a professor of medicine at Adelaide University. In 1966 he returned to the UK and took up the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield. In 1974 he was knighted and returned to Edinburgh University as Principal and Vice-Chancellor. He received an honorary LLD at Sheffield University in 1975.[1] He died on 11 December 1977, survived by his wife, son and two daughters.[2]

Hugh Robson Building[edit]

Hugh Robson has a lasting memorial in place in George Square, Edinburgh, where the University of Edinburgh named a building on their campus after him. The building itself was used as a bomb shelter during World War 2, the actual bomb shelter is now a 24-hour computer lab for university students. During the war this building sustained some damage and the university decided it would be best to erect a new building in its place, and subsequently named it the Hugh Robson building.


  1. ^ University of Sheffield Honorary Graduates
  2. ^ British Medical Journal Dec 1977 page 1676 Obituary
Academic offices
Preceded by
Arthur Roy Clapham
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Sims
Preceded by
Michael Swann
Principals of Edinburgh University
Succeeded by
John Harrison Burnett