Why is digital citizenship important?

The University of Edinburgh is an international community that prides itself on our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

We have a duty to one another to build a community that works for everyone both online and off. The concept of digital citizenship underpins each of the four key themes in the University’s Strategy 2030. 


The University’s Strategy 2030 states, “We will set an example for others by conducting ourselves with integrity, transparency, honesty and clarity at all times. We will always value and protect freedom of expression, while respecting the boundaries dictated by law, decency, ethics and respect for others.” The same applies to both physical and digital spaces. 


The ways in which we manage and store research data constitute an important digital safety and citizenship consideration. Being “critically aware of the ethical, legal and regulatory responsibilities of research,” as the Strategy 2030 states, means storing data safety and effectively. 

Teaching and Learning 

Creating a sense of digital citizenship is key to improving student satisfaction and wellbeing. In line with the University’s commitment to widening participation, we have a duty to offer accessible and responsive educational services that ensure students from any background feel safe and supported whether studying on campus or online. 

Social and Civic Responsibility 

Information security is a key part of the University’s social and civic responsibility. In order to “ensure that our actions and activities deliver positive change locally, regionally and globally,” we must start by creating an online community committed to making the internet a safer, more inclusive space. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Online 

The University is fully committed to fostering safe and inclusive spaces both across campus and online. Unfortunately, the internet was not created with equality, diversity and inclusion in mind, meaning we all have to make a conscious effort to promote these values and protect the most vulnerable members of our diverse and international community. Watch the video below, “Making the Internet a Safer Place” for an introduction to the concept of cyber hate and how you can do your part to make our online community safer for everyone. 

Watch: “Making the Internet A Safer Place” (12m46s, Pete Burnap TEDx via YouTube) 

Respect at Edinburgh Hub 

The Respect at Edinburgh web hub brings together information and guidance on the Dignity & Respect policy, the processes for raising and addressing concerns, and the support and training available. You can find up-to-date information on the University’s #NoExcuse campaign and the Students’ Association’s Liberation campaigns in the Respect at Edinburgh hub as well. 

The Consent Collective is also working with the University to address issues surrounding consent, sex, gender, sexual harassment and relationships. You can access their content by signing in to Consent Collective TV using your university email address.