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.
The University was originally located in the city's High Street; since 1870, its main campus has been at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city. Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the Veterinary School in Bearsden, and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.
The University has often been the starting point for significant journeys of discovery and collaboration. For over five centuries we’ve inspired people who have gone on to shape other great educational institutions around the world, and we maintain strong relationships with many of them to this day.
Through our strategic university partnerships, research collaborations, joint degrees, and student exchange and study abroad programmes we are creating the opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and new ways for learning.
Changing the world is not only about making discoveries and creating new technologies. Informed leaders, creative thinkers and bold business minds have honed their skills at Glasgow. The talents of some of the UK’s most influential political figures have been nurtured here. Award-winning writers have developed their craft. Human rights activists have gained their voice.
Strategic partnerships with the Universities of Columbia, Hong Kong, McGill and Sydney bring our inspiring people together, while unique partnerships with the Singapore Institute of Technology, Nankai University and the University of Electronic Science & Technology of China (UESTC) mean that we continue to extend our global footprint through innovative transnational education.
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, the section of mental health and well being at Gartnavel Royal Hospital on Great Western Road, the Teaching and Learning Centre at the South Glasgow University Hospital, and the Crichton campus in Dumfries. he University has also established joint departments with the Glasgow School of Art and in naval architecture with the University of Strathclyde.
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 hosts more than 3 million books and journals, as well as providing access to an extensive range of electronic resources including over 51,900 electronic journals. It also houses sections for periodicals, microfilms, special collections and rare materials. In addition to the main library, subject libraries also exist for Medicine, Chemistry, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Education, Law, and the faculty of Social Sciences, which are held in branch libraries around the campus.
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. These include the Murano Street halls in Maryhill; Wolfson halls on the Garscube Estate; Queen Margaret halls, in Kelvinside; Cairncross House and Kelvinhaugh Gate, in Yorkhill.
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 its students. Due to the university's retention of its separate male and female students' unions, which since 1980 have admitted both sexes as full members whilst keeping their own identities, there are two independent students' unions, as well as a sports association and the students' representative council.
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).
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, including Gaelic Football, Basketball, Cycling, Football, Hockey, Netball, Martial Arts and Rowing, who regularly compete in BUCS competitions.
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; Glasgow University Magazine; Glasgow University Student Television; and Subcity Radio.