University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
Latin: Universitas Glasguensis
Motto Via, Veritas, Vita
Motto in English "The Way, The Truth, The Life"
Established 1451
Type Public university/Ancient university
Endowment £ 117.2 million[1]
Chancellor Prof. Sir Kenneth Calman
Rector Rt Hon. Charles Kennedy
Principal Prof. Anton Muscatelli
Admin. staff 5,807[2]
Students 23,590[3]
Undergraduates 18,810[3]
Postgraduates 4,785[3]
Location Glasgow, Scotland, UK



















Social Sciences


Veterinary Medicine

Affiliations Russell Group, Universitas 21, IRUN, Association of Commonwealth Universities
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The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the world.[4][5]

A major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century, from the 19th century it became a pioneer in British higher education by providing for the educational needs of students from the growing urban and commercial classes, as opposed to the upper class. Glasgow served these students by preparing them for professions outwith commerce - the law, medicine, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller numbers for careers in science and engineering.[6] More recently it was the Sunday Times "Scottish University of the Year" for 2007 [7] and the university is currently a member of the Russell Group and of Universitas 21.

Since 1870, the main University campus has been located on Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.[8] Additionally, there are a number of university buildings elsewhere in the city, a facility at Loch Lomond, the University Marine Biological Station Millport and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

Glasgow has departments of Law, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry—a position that is unique amongst the other universities in Scotland. The alumni of the University includes six Nobel laureates and two British Prime Ministers.



The Main Building of the University, viewed from Kelvingrove Park
The East Quadrangle of the Main Building.

The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 A.D by a papal bull of Pope Nicholas V, at the suggestion of King James II, giving Bishop William Turnbull permission to add the university to the city's cathedral.[9] It is the second-oldest university in Scotland, and the fourth-oldest in the English-speaking world. The Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen are ecclesiastical foundations, while Edinburgh was a civic foundation.

The University has been without its original Bull, issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1451, since the mid-sixteenth century. In 1560, during the political unrest accompanying the Scottish Reformation, the then chancellor, Archbishop James Beaton, a supporter of the Marian cause, fled to France taking 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 Innes and the superiors of the Scots College, that the original records of the foundation of the University were not now 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 itself under threat and its records and valuables were moved for safe-keeping out of the city of Paris. Nevertheless, the Bull remains the authority by which the University awards degrees.

Glasgow is the only tertiary education establishment in Scotland which offers a complete range of professional studies including law, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and engineering, combined with a comprehensive range of academic studies including science, social science, ancient and modern languages, literature, theology and history.

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 (53,000 m2) of land belonging to the Black Friars (Dominicans) on High Street by Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1563.[10] 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 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.


The view over the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum from the University of Glasgow tower

The University's teaching quality was assessed in 2009 to be among the top 10 in the United Kingdom, along with its reputation as a "research powerhouse", whose income from annual research contracts also placing among the top 10 the UK. The university overall generates a total income of over £421,000,000 per year- also amongst the top 10 in the UK.[11] The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities[12] and was a founding member of the organisation, Universitas 21,[13] an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education. The university currently has fifteen Regius Professorships, nearly twice the number held by the next nearest, Oxford.

Glasgow has the fourth largest financial endowment among UK universities at £133m,[1] and the fifth largest endowment per student, according to the Sutton Trust, with investment in facilities of over £150 million in the last 5 years.[14]

In the 2011/12 QS World University Rankings Glasgow jumped from 77th overall in 2010[15] to 59th overall in the world in 2011[16] (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings). According to The Times Good University Guide and The Guardian University Guide 2009,[17] Glasgow University was ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the UK. In the most recent Times Higher Education World rankings of universities, Glasgow is among only a handful of UK universities in the top 100, placed at 13th in the UK and 79th in the World. In the Guardian University Guide for 2010 Glasgow University fell by six places to number 23.

The Hunterian Museum, from University Avenue

The University has recently published its "Building on Excellence" strategy for 2006-2010. The University's strategic plan sets out the ambition to be one of the best universities in the world. The University aims to be recognised as one of the UK's top 10 universities and as one of the world's top 50 research-intensive universities.[18]

As of February 2009, the University had almost 20,000 undergraduate and 5,000 postgraduate students.[3] Glasgow has a large (for the UK) proportion of "home" students, with 40 per cent of the student body coming from the West of Scotland, an additional 39 per cent from elsewhere in the UK, leaving 16 per cent from elsewhere in the world.[19] More recently the University has started to attract more overseas students, particularly from Asia.[citation needed] There are 6,000 staff, of whom 3,400 are researchers, bringing in £130M of research income (2006-7). Twenty-three subject areas, and 96 per cent of staff, were awarded 5 or 5* ratings in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.[20]

The most recent rankings from Times Higher Education, compiled by QS, place Glasgow in the top 75 Worldwide for Arts, Humanities, Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences.[21] On top of this, recent statistics also show Glasgow to be among the top 10 in the UK for both entry standards, as well as the percentage of students who go on to gain first or upper second class honours degrees.[22]

The University is ranked equal 101st by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities. In 2008, it was ranked in 73rd place in the Top 100 universities in the THE - QS World University Rankings 2008.[4]

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), almost 70% of research carried out at the university was in the top two categories (88% in the top three categories). Eighteen subject areas were rated top ten in the UK, whilst fourteen subject areas were rated the best in Scotland. The latest Times RAE table ranks according to an 'average' score across all departments, of which Glasgow posted an average of 2.6/4. The overall average placed Glasgow as the thirty-third highest of all UK universities, although placed fourteenth in the UK and second in Scotland for total Research Power.[23][24]


The University is currently spread over a number of different campuses. The main one is the Gilmorehill campus, in Hillhead. As well as this there is the Garscube Estate in Bearsden, housing the Veterinary School, Observatory, Ship model basin and much of the University's sports facilities, the Dental School in the city centre, and the Crichton campus in Dumfries, operated jointly by the University of Glasgow, the University of the West of Scotland and the Open University. The University has also established joint departments with the Glasgow School of Art and in naval architecture with the University of Strathclyde.

A model of the old High Street Building, in the Hunterian Museum.

High Street

The University of Glasgow in 1650.

The University's initial accommodation was part of the complex of religious buildings in the precincts of Glasgow Cathedral. In 1460, the University received a grant of land from James, Lord Hamilton, on the east side of the High Street, immediately north of the Blackfriars Church, on which it had its home for the next four hundred years. In the mid-seventeenth century, the Hamilton Building was replaced with a very grand two-court building with a decorated west front facing the High Street, called the "Nova Erectio", or New Building.

Over the following centuries, the University's size and scope continued to expand. In 1757 it built the Macfarlane Observatory and later Scotland's first public museum, the Hunterian. It was a centre of the Scottish Enlightenment and subsequently of the Industrial Revolution, and its expansion in the High Street was constrained. The area around the University declined as well-off residents moved westwards with expansion of the city and overcrowding of the immediate area by less well-off residents. It was this rapid slumming of the area that was a chief catalyst of the University's migration westward.


The University's tower overlooking Kelvingrove Park, as seen from Partick Bridge over the River Kelvin

Consequently, in 1870, it moved to a (then greenfield) site on Gilmorehill in the West End of the city, around three miles (5 km) west of its previous location, enclosed by a large meander of the River Kelvin. The original site on the High Street was sold to the City of Glasgow Union Railway and replaced by the College Goods yard. The new-build campus was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic revival style. The largest of these buildings echoed, on a far grander scale, the original High Street campus's twin-quadrangle layout, and may have been inspired by Ypres' late medieval Cloth Hall; Gilmorehill in turn inspired the design of the Clocktower complex of buildings for the new University of Otago in New Zealand. In 1879, Gilbert Scott's son, Oldrid, completed this original vision by building an open undercroft forming two quadrangles, above which is his grand Bute Hall (used for examinations and graduation ceremonies). Oldrid also later added a spire to the buildings' signature gothic bell tower in 1887. The blond sandstone cladding and Gothic design of the building's exterior belie the modernity of its Victorian construction; Scott's building is structured upon what was then a cutting-edge riveted iron frame construction, supporting a lightweight wooden-beam roof. The building also forms the second-largest example of Gothic revival architecture in Britain, after the Palace of Westminster.[25] An illustration of the Main Building currently features on the reverse side of the current series of £100 notes issued by the Clydesdale Bank.[26]

The University's Hunterian Museum resides in the Main Building, and the related Hunterian Gallery is housed in buildings adjacent to the University Library.[27] The latter includes "The Mackintosh House", a rebuilt terraced house designed by, and furnished after, architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Even these enlarged premises could not contain the expanding University, which quickly spread across much of Gilmorehill. The 1930s saw the construction of the award-winning round Reading Room (it is now a category-A listed building) and an aggressive programme of house purchases, in which the University (fearing the surrounding district of Hillhead was running out of suitable building land) acquired several terraces of Victorian houses and joined them together internally. The departments of Psychology, Computing Science and most of the Arts Faculty continue to be housed in these terraces.

The Department of History building occupies what were former townhouses on University Avenue.

More buildings were built to the west of the Main Builidng, developing the land between University Avenue and the River Kelvin with natural science buildings and the faculty of medicine. The medical school spread into neighbouring Partick and joined with the Western General Infirmary. At the eastern flank of the Main Building, the James Watt Engineering Building was completed in 1959. The growth and prosperity of the city, which had originally forced the University's relocation to Hillhead, again proved problematic when more real estate was required. The school of veterinary medicine, which was founded in 1862, moved to a new campus in the leafy surrounds of Garscube Estate on the edge of the city in 1954. The university later moved its sports ground and associated facilities to Anniesland (around two miles (3 km) west of the main campus) and built student halls of residence in both Anniesland and Maryhill.

The growth of tertiary education, as a result of the Robbins Report in the 1960s, led the University to build numerous modern buildings across Hillhead, including several brutalist concrete blocks: the Mathematics building; the Boyd Orr Building and the Adam Smith building (housing the Faculty of Law, Business and Social Sciences, named after university graduate Adam Smith). Other additions around this time, including the new glass-lined Glasgow University Library, Rankine Building for Civil Engineering (named for William John Macquorn Rankine) and the amber-brick Gregory Building (housing the Geology department), were more in keeping with Gilmorehill's leafy suburban architecture. The erection of these buildings in the late 1960s however involved the demolition of a large number of houses in Ashton Road, and rerouting the west end of University Avenue to its current position. To cater for the expanding student population, a new refectory, known as the Hub, was opened adjacent to the library in 1966. The Glasgow University Union also had an extension completed in 1965 and the new Queen Margaret Union building opened in 1969.

In October 2001 the century-old Bower Building (previously home to the university's botany department) was gutted by fire. The interior and roof of the building were largely destroyed, although the main facade remained intact. After a £10.8 million refit, the building re-opened in November 2004.

The Wolfson Medical School Building, with its award-winning glass-fronted atrium, opened in 2002,[28] and in 2003, the St Andrews Building was opened, housing the Faculty of Education. It is sited a short walk from Gilmorehill, in the Woodlands area of the city on the site of the former Queens College, which had in turn been bought by Glasgow Caledonian University, from whom the university acquired the site. It replaced the St Andrews Campus in Bearsden. The University also procured the former Hillhead Congregational Church, converting it into a lecture theatre in 2005. The Sir Alwyn Williams building, designed by Reiach and Hall, was completed at Lilybank Terrace in 2007, housing the Department of Computing Science.


The University Chapel was constructed as a memorial to the 755 sons of the University who had lost their lives in the First World War. Designed by Sir John Burnet, it was completed in 1929 and dedicated on 4 October. Tablets on the wall behind the Communion Table list the names of those who died, while other tablets besides the stalls record the 405 members of the University community who gave their lives in the Second World War. Most of the windows are the work of Douglas Strachan, although some have been added over the years, including those on the South Wall, created by Alan Younger.

Daily services are held in the Chapel during term-time, as well as seasonal events. Before Christmas, there is a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on the last Sunday of term, and a Watchnight service on Christmas Eve. Graduates, students, members of staff and the children of members of staff are entitled to be married in the Chapel, which is also used for baptisms, funerals. Civil marriages and civil partnerships may be blessed in the Chapel, although under UK law may not be performed there.

The current Chaplain of the University is the Reverend Stuart MacQuarrie, and the University appoints Honorary Chaplains of other denominations.

Library and Archives

The University's library houses over two and a half million volumes.[29]

The University Library, situated on Hillhead Street opposite the Main Building, is one of the oldest and largest libraries in Europe. Situated over 12 floors, it holds more than 2.5 million books and journals, as well as providing access to an extensive range of electronic resources including over 30,000 electronic journals. It also houses sections for periodicals, microfilms, special collections and rare materials.[11] Open between 7am-2am, 361 days of the year, the Library provides a resource not only for the academic community in Glasgow, but also for scholars worldwide. There are study spaces for more than 2,500 students, with over 800 computers, and wi-fi access is available throughout the building.

In addition to the main library, subject libraries also exist for Chemistry, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Education, Law, and the faculty of Social Sciences, which are held in branch libraries around the campus.[30] In 2007, a state of the art section to house the library's collection of historic photographs was opened, funded by the Wolfson Foundation.[30]

The Archives of the University of Glasgow are the central place of deposit for the records of the University, created and accumulated since its foundation in 1451.

Crichton Campus, Dumfries

The University opened a campus in the town of Dumfries in Dumfries and Galloway during the 1980s. The Crichton campus, designed to meet the needs for tertiary education in an area far from major concentrations of population, is operated jointly by the University of Glasgow, the University of the West of Scotland and the Open University. It offers a modular undergraduate curriculum, leading to one of a small number of liberal arts degrees, as well as providing the region's only access to postgraduate study.[31]

Non-teaching facilities

As well as these teaching campuses the University has halls of residence in and around the North-West of the city, accommodating a total of approximately 3,500 students.[32] These are the Murano Street halls in Maryhill; Wolfson halls on the Garscube Estate; Queen Margaret halls, in Kelvinside; Cairncross House and Kelvinhaugh Gate, in Yorkhill. In recent years, Dalrymple House and Horslethill halls in Dowanhill, Reith halls in North Kelvinside and the Maclay halls in Park Circus (near Kelvingrove Park), have closed and been sold, as the development value of such property increased.

The Stevenson Building on Gilmorehill, opened in 1961 and provides students with the use of a fitness suite, squash courts, sauna and six-lane 25m swimming pool. The University also has a large sports complex on the Garscube Estate, beside their Wolfson Halls and Vet School. This is a new facility, replacing the previous Westerlands sports ground in the Anniesland area of the city, which was sold for housing. The university also has a boathouse situated at Glasgow Green on the River Clyde. It is out of here that the Glasgow University Boat Club trains.

Governance and administration

Eastern section of the Main Building of the University.

In common with the other ancient universities of Scotland the University's constitution is laid out in the Universities (Scotland) Acts. These Acts create a tripartite structure of bodies: the University Court (governing body), the Academic Senate (academic affairs) and the General Council (advisory). There is also a clear separation between governance and executive administration.

The University's constitution, academic regulations, and appointments are authoritatively described in the University calendar,[33] while other aspects of its story and constitution are detailed in a separate "history" document.[34]


There are several officers of the university. The role of each involves management of the operations of Glasgow.


The Chancellor is the titular head of the University and President of the General Council. He awards all degrees, although this duty is generally carried out by the Vice-Chancellor, appointed by him. The current Chancellor is Professor Sir Kenneth Calman and the current Vice-Chancellor is the Principal, Professor Anton Muscatelli.


All students at the University are eligible to vote in the election of the Rector (officially styled "Lord Rector"), who holds office for a three year term and chairs the University Court. In the past, this position has been a largely honorary and ceremonial one, and has been held by political figures including William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli, Andrew Bonar Law, Robert Peel, Raymond Poincaré, Arthur Balfour, and 1970s union activist Jimmy Reid, and latterly by celebrities such as TV presenters Arthur Montford and Johnny Ball, musician Pat Kane, and actors Richard Wilson, Ross Kemp and Greg Hemphill. In 2004, for the first time in its history, the University was left without a Rector as no nominations were received. When the elections were run in December, Mordechai Vanunu was chosen for the post,[35] even though he was unable to attend due to restrictions placed upon him by the Israeli government. The current rector of the University, elected on 28 February 2008, is Charles Kennedy, the former leader of the Liberal Democrat party and former President of the Glasgow University Union. He was re-elected March 2011 and is currently in his second term.


Day-to-day management of the University is undertaken by the University Principal (who is also Vice-Chancellor). The current principal is Professor Anton Muscatelli who replaced Sir Muir Russell in October 2009.[36]

There are also several Vice-Principals, each with a specific remit. They, along with the Clerk of Senate, play a major role in the day to day management of the University.

University Court

The governing body of the University is the University Court, which is responsible for contractual matters, employing staff, and all other matters relating to finance and administration. The Court takes decisions about the deployment of resources as well as formulating strategic plans for the university. The Court is chaired by the Rector, who is elected by all the matriculated students at the University. The Secretary of Court is the Head of University Services, and assists the Principal in the day-to-day management of the University. The current Secretary of Court is Mr. David Newall.[37]

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate (or University Senate) is the body which is responsible for the management of academic affairs, and which recommends the conferment of degrees by the Chancellor. Membership of the Senate comprises all Professors of the University, as well as elected academic members, representatives of the Student's Representative Council, the Secretary of Court and directors of University services (e.g. Library). The President of the Senate is the Principal.

The Clerk of Senate, who has status equivalent to that of a Vice-Principal and is a member of the Senior Management Group, has responsibility for regulation of the University's academic policy, such as dealing with plagiarism and the conduct of examanitions. Notable Clerks of Senate have included the chemist, Professor Joseph Black; Professor John Anderson, father of the University of Strathclyde; and the economist, Professor John Millar.


There are also a number of committees of both the Court and Senate that make important decisions and investigate matters referred to them. As well as these bodies there is a General Council made up of the university graduates that is involved in the running of the University. The graduates also elect the Chancellor of the University. A largely honorific post, the current Chancellor is Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, former Chief Medical Officer and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Durham.


There are currently four Colleges within the University of Glasgow, each containing a number of Schools. They are:

  • College of Arts
    • School of Critical Studies
    • School of Culture and Creative Arts
    • School of Humanities
    • School of Modern Languages and Cultures
    • ArtsLab Glasgow
    • Graduate School of the College of Arts
  • College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
  • 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
    • Business School
    • School of Education
    • School of Interdisciplinary Studies (at Crichton Campus, Dumfries)
    • School of Law
    • School of Social and Political Sciences

At the University's foundation in 1451, there were four original faculties: Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine. The Faculty of Divinity became a constituent school of the Faculty of Arts in 2002,[38] while the Faculty of Law was changed in 1984 into the Faculty of Law and Financial Studies, and in 2005 became the Faculty of Law, Business and Social Sciences.[39] Although one of the original faculties established, teaching in the Faculty of Medicine did not begin formally until 1714, with the revival of the Chair in the Practice of Medicine.[40] The Faculty of Science was formed in 1893 from Chairs removed from the Faculties of Arts and Medicine, and subsequently divided in 2000 to form the three Faculties of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Computing Science, Mathematics and Statistics (now Information and Mathematical Sciences) and Physical Sciences.[41] The Faculty of Social Sciences was formed from Chairs in the Faculty of Arts in 1977, and merged to form the Faculty of Law, Business and Social Sciences in 2005, the two having operated as a single 'resource unit' since 2002.[42] The Faculty of Engineering was formally established in 1923, although engineering had been taught at the University since 1840 when Queen Victoria founded the UK's first Chair of Engineering. Through a concordat ratified in 1913[43], Royal Technical College (later Royal College of Science and Technology and now University of Strathclyde) students received Glasgow degrees in applied sciences, particularly engineering. It was in 1769 when James Watt's engineering at Glasgow led to a stable steam engine and, subsequently, the Industrial Revolution. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1862 as the independent Glasgow Veterinary College, being subsumed into the University in 1949 and gaining independent Faculty status in 1969.[44] The Faculty of Education was formed when the University merged with St Andrew's College of Education in 1999.[45]

On 1 August 2010, the former Faculties of the University were removed and replaced by a system of four larger Colleges, intended to encourage interdisciplinary research and make the University more competitive.[46] This structure was similar to that at other universities, including the University of Edinburgh.

Notable alumni and staff

Many distinguished figures have taught, worked and studied at the University of Glasgow, including six Nobel laureates and two Prime Ministers, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Andrew Bonar Law. Famous names include the physicist, Lord Kelvin, 'father of economics' Adam Smith, James Watt, John Logie Baird, Joseph Black, Sir John Boyd Orr, Professor Sam Karunaratne, Francis Hutcheson and Joseph Lister.

In more recent times, the University boasts one of Europe's largest collections of life scientists, as well as having been the training ground of numerous politicians, including former First Minister Donald Dewar, fomer leader of the Liberal Democrats and current Rector of the University Charles Kennedy, Liam Fox, John Smith, Sir Menzies Campbell and current Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.


Unlike other universities in Scotland, Glasgow does not have a single students' association; instead, there exist a number of bodies concerned with the representation, welfare and entertainment of students. As a result of the university's retention of its separate male and female students' unions (which since 1980 have both admitted men and women as full members whilst retaining their separate identities) there are two entirely separate students' unions, as well as a sports association and students' representative council. None of these is affiliated to the National Union of Students: membership has been rejected on a number of occasions, most recently in November 2006, on both economic and political grounds.[47]

In common with the other ancient universities of Scotland, students at Glasgow also elect a Rector.

Students' Representative Council

The Students' Representative Council is the legal representative body for students, as recognised by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889. The SRC is responsible for representing students' interests to the management of the University and to local and national government, and for health and welfare issues. Under the Universities (Scotland) Acts, all students of the University automatically become members of the SRC, however they are entitled to opt out of this. Members of the SRC sit on various committees throughout the University, from Departmental level to the Senate and Court.

The SRC organises RAG (Raising And Giving) Week and SHaG (Sexual Health at Glasgow) Week, as well as funding some 130 clubs and societies.

The Unions

The Glasgow University Union's building at the bottom of University Avenue

In addition to the Students' Representative Council, students are commonly members of one of the University's two students' unions, the Glasgow University Union (GUU) and the Queen Margaret Union (QMU).[48] These are largely social and cultural institutions, providing their members with facilities for debating, dining, recreation, socialising, and drinking, and both have a number of meeting rooms available for rental to members. Postgraduate students, mature students and staff were previously able to join the Hetherington Research Club,[49] however large debts led to the club being closed in February 2010.[50][51] However, in February 2011, students gained access to the old HRC building, situated at 13 University Gardens (Hetherington House) and have now "reopened" it as the Free Hetherington, a social centre for learning and lectures, as well as protesting the shutting down of the club. Attempts to evict this occupation resulted in complaints of heavy-handed policing and much controversy on campus.[52]

The separate unions exist due to the University's previous male-only status; the Glasgow University Union was founded before the admission of women to the University, while the Queen Margaret Union was originally the union of Queen Margaret College, a women-only college which merged with the University in 1892. Their continued separate existence is due largely to their individual atmospheres. While the GUU's focus is mainly towards people involved in sports and debates (as among its founders were the Athletic Association and Dialectic Society), the QM is one of Glasgow's premier music venues, and has played host to Nirvana, Biffy Clyro and Franz Ferdinand. However, many students choose to frequent both unions.

Glasgow has led the UK's university debating culture since 1953. In 1955, the GUU won the Observer Mace, now the John Smith Memorial Mace, named after the deceased GUU debater and former leader of the British Labour Party. The GUU has since won the Mace debating championship fourteen more times, more than any other university. The GUU has also won the World Universities Debating Championships five times, more than any other university or club in the series' history.[53]

Glasgow University Sports Association

Sporting affairs are regulated by the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) (previously the Glasgow University Athletics Club) which works closely with the Sport and Recreation Service. There are a large number of varied clubs, who regularly compete in BUSA competitions. Students who join one of the sports clubs affiliated with the university must also join GUSA. However there are also regular classes and drop-in sessions for various sports which are non-competitive and available to all university gym members.

Student clubs and societies

The University has an eclectic body of clubs and societies, including sports teams, political and religious groups and gaming societies.

Mature Students' Association

The community of mature students - that is those students aged 25 or over - are served by the Mature Students' Association located at 62 Oakfield Avenue. The MSA aims are to provide all mature students with facilities for recreation and study. Throughout the year, the MSA also organises social events and peer support for the wide range of subjects studied by the university's mature students.[54]


There is an active student media scene at the University, part of, but editorially independent from, the SRC. There is a newspaper, the Glasgow University Guardian;[55] Glasgow University Magazine;[56] Glasgow University Student Television;[57] and Subcity Radio.[58] In recent years, independent of the SRC, the Queen Margaret Union has published a fortnightly magazine, qmunicate,[59] and Glasgow University Union has produced the GUUi.[60]


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  2. ^ "Staff numbers". University of Glasgow. 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2008. 
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  4. ^ a b QS Top Universities: Top 100 universities in the THE - QS World University Rankings 2008[dead link]
  5. ^ Education UK Profile. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
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  7. ^ "Profile: University of Glasgow". Sunday Times University Guide (London: Times Online). 21 September 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
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  9. ^ University of Glasgow - Who, Where and When, retrieved 22 April 2006 Archived March 27, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Biography of Queen Mary". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 15 October 2008. 
  11. ^ a b University of Glasgow :: Facts and figures :: Facts and figures[dead link]
  12. ^ The Russell Group Homepage. Retrieved 22 April 2006.
  13. ^ Universitas 21 - Member Institutions. Retrieved 22 April 2006.
  14. ^ The Sutton Trust - University Endowments, retrieved 22 April 2006 Archived April 21, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2010 Results". 
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2011/12 Results". 
  17. ^ "Rankings with performance scores (xls)" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). The Guardian University Guide 2009 (London: The Guardian). 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  18. ^ University of Glasgow - Building on Excellence[dead link]
  19. ^ "University of Glasgow :: Planning Services :: General Information". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
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  • Moss, Michael, et al. University, City & State: The University of Glasgow since 1870 (2000)
  • Robertson, Paul L. "The Development of an Urban University: Glasgow, 1860-1914," History of Education Quarterly, Winter 1990, Vol. 30#1 pp 47–78

See also

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