University of Glasgow

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University of Glasgow Details

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Overview


The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in th eEnglish-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh, the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group.

In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneer in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.

Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city. Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millporton the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

The University of Glasgow

  • is ranked 62nd in the world and is the first and only UK university to be rated as 5 Stars Plus overall. (QS World University Rankings 2015)
  • is rated third in the UK for international student satisfaction (among universities participating in the International Student Barometer Summer 2013)
  • welcomes students from more than 140 countries worldwide
  • has more than 25,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • is a major employer in the city of Glasgow with more than 6,000 staff, including 2,000 active researchers
  • has annual research income of more than £181m
  • is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities
  • is ranked top in Scotland and third in the Russell Group in the National Student Survey 2015
  • is a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education
  • includes among its alumni, the father of economics Adam Smith, Scotland’s architect of devolution Donald Dewar and renowned physicist and engineer Lord Kelvin.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties


College of Arts

  • ArtsLab Glasgow
  • Graduate School of the College of Arts
  • School of Critical Studies
  • School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Modern Languages and Cultures

College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Medicine (including Dentistry)
  • School of Veterinary Medicine

College of Science and Engineering

  • School of Chemistry
  • School of Computing Science
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • School of Physics and Astronomy
  • School of Psychology

College of Social Sciences

  • Adam Smith Business School
  • School of Education
  • School of Interdisciplinary Studies (at Crichton Campus, Dumfries)
  • School of Law
  • School of Social and Political Sciences

History


Over the last five centuries and more, we’ve constantly worked to push the boundaries of what’s possible. We’ve fostered the talents of seven Nobel laureates, one Prime Minister and Scotland’s inaugural First Minister. We’ve welcomed Albert Einstein to give a lecture on the origins of the general theory of relativity. Scotland’s first female medical graduates completed their degrees here in 1894 and the world’s first ultrasound images of a foetus were published by Glasgow Professor Ian Donald in 1958. In 1840 we became the first university in the UK to appoint a Professor of Engineering, and in 1957, the first in Scotland to have an electronic computer.

All of this means that if you choose to work or study here, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of some of the world’s most renowned innovators, from scientist Lord Kelvin and economist Adam Smith, to the pioneer of television John Logie Baird.

 

The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 by a charter or papal bull from Pope Nicholas V, at the suggestion of King James II, giving Bishop William Turnbull, a graduate of theUniversity of St Andrews, permission to add a University to the city’s Cathedral.  It is the second-oldest university in Scotland after St Andrews and the fourth-oldest in the English-speaking world. The universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen were ecclesiastical foundations, while Edinburgh was a civic foundation. As one of the Ancient Universities of the United Kingdom, Glasgow University is one of only eight institutions to award undergraduate master’s degrees in certain disciplines.

The University has been without its original Bull since the mid-sixteenth century. In 1560, during the political unrest accompanying theScottish Reformation, the then chancellor, Archbishop James Beaton, a supporter of the Marian cause, fled to France. He took with him, for safe-keeping, many of the archives and valuables of the Cathedral and the University, including the Mace and the Bull. Although the Mace was sent back in 1590, the archives were not. Principal Dr James Fall told the Parliamentary Commissioners of Visitation on 28 August 1690, that he had seen the Bull at the Scots College in Paris, together with the many charters granted to the University by the monarchs of Scotland from James II to Mary, Queen of Scots. The University enquired of these documents in 1738 but was informed by Thomas Innesand the superiors of the Scots College, that the original records of the foundation of the University were not to be found. If they had not been lost by this time, they certainly went astray during the French Revolution when the Scots College was under threat. Its records and valuables were moved for safe-keeping out of the city of Paris. The Bull remains the authority by which the University awards degrees.

Teaching at the University began in the chapterhouse of Glasgow Cathedral, subsequently moving to nearby Rottenrow, in a building known as the “Auld Pedagogy”. The University was given 13 acres (5.3 ha) of land belonging to the Black Friars (Dominicans) on High Street by Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1563. By the late 17th century, the University building centred on two courtyards surrounded by walled gardens, with a clock tower, which was one of the notable features of Glasgow’s skyline, and a chapel adapted from the church of the former Dominican (Blackfriars) friary. Remnants of this Scottish Renaissance building, mainly parts of the main facade, were transferred to the Gilmorehill campus and renamed as the “Pearce Lodge”, after Sir William Pearce, the shipbuilding magnate who funded its preservation. The Lion and Unicorn Staircase was also transferred from the old college site and is now attached to the Main Building.

John Anderson, while professor of natural philosophy at the university, and with some opposition from his colleagues, pioneered vocational education for working men and women during the industrial revolution. To continue this work in his will he founded Anderson’s College, which was associated with the university before merging with other institutions to become the University of Strathclyde in 1964.

In 1973, Delphine Parrott became its first woman professor, as Gardiner Professor of Immunology.

In October 2014, the university court voted for the University to become the first academic institution in Europe to divest from the fossil fuel industry.


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