University of Strathclyde

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University of Strathclyde
Motto The Place of Useful Learning
Established 1796; 226 years ago (1796) as Andersonian Institute; 1964 granted University Status by Royal Charter
as University of Strathclyde
Type Public
Endowment £ 27 million[1]
Chancellor The Lord Smith of Kelvin
Principal Jim McDonald
Convenor of the Court Richard Hunter
Administrative staff
Students 21,210 (2014/15)[2]
Undergraduates 14,670 (2014/15)[2]
Postgraduates 6,540 (2014/15)[2]
Location Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Campus Urban
More than 500 acres (200 ha)[3]
Colours      Engineering
Affiliations ACU
Universities UK
Universities Scotland
Website University of Strathclyde Glasgow
University of Strathclyde Logo.png

The University of Strathclyde is a Scottish public research university located in Glasgow, United Kingdom. It is Glasgow's second university by age, being founded in 1796 as the Andersonian Institute, and receiving its Royal Charter in 1964 as the UK's first technological university. It takes its name from the historic Kingdom of Strathclyde.

The University of Strathclyde is Scotland's third largest university by number of students, with students and staff from over 100 countries.[4] The institution was awarded University of the Year 2012[5] and Entrepreneurial University of the year 2013 by Times Higher Education.

Entry into many of the courses in the university is competitive and successful entrants in 2015 had an average of 473 UCAS points.[4] This means that successful applicants to Strathclyde have the 3rd highest average score in Scotland (above the University of Glasgow), and is ranked 12th overall in the UK.[6] It is also one of the 39 old universities in the UK comprising the distinctive second cluster of elite universities after Oxbridge.[7][8]


The university was founded in 1796 through the will of John Anderson, professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow who left instructions and the majority of his estate to create a second university in Glasgow which would focus on "Useful Learning" – specialising in practical subjects – "for the good of mankind and the improvement of science, a place of useful learning". The University later named its city centre campus after him.

In 1828, the institution was renamed Anderson's University, partially fulfilling Anderson's vision of two universities in the city of Glasgow. The name was changed in 1887, to reflect the fact that there was no legal authority for the use of the title of 'university'.[9] As a result, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College was formed, becoming the Royal Technical College in 1912, and the Royal College of Science and Technology in 1956 concentrating on science and engineering teaching and research. Undergraduate students could qualify for degrees of the University of Glasgow or the equivalent Associate of the Royal College of Science and Technology (ARCST).

Under Principal Samuel Curran, internationally respected nuclear physicist (and inventor of the scintillation counter), the Royal College gained University Status, receiving its Royal Charter to become The University of Strathclyde in 1964, merging with the Scottish College of Commerce at the same time. Contrary to popular belief, The University of Strathclyde was not created as a result of the Robbins Report – the decision to grant the Royal College university status had been made earlier in the 1960s[10] but delayed as a result of Robbins Report. The University of Strathclyde was the UK's first technological university reflecting its history, teaching and research excellence in technological education. In 1993, the University incorporated Jordanhill College of Education.

The university has developed its reputation and grown from approximately 4,000 full-time students in 1964 to over 20,000 students in 2003, when it celebrated the 100th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the original Royal College building.

In July 2015, Her Majesty The Queen has opened the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), at the University of Strathclyde.


Jordonhill Campus, Strathclyde University
Royal College Building, Strathclyde University
Barony Hall, Strathclyde University

Since taking over the Jordanhill college in 1993, the University operated two campuses - The John Anderson Campus and the Jordanhill campus until 2012 when the Jordanhill campus was closed and everything was moved to the John Anderson Campus.

The centrepiece building has long been the massive Royal College Building. Started in 1903 and completed in 1912, it was partially opened in 1910 and at the time was the largest educational building in Europe for technical education. Originally built as the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College Building, it now houses Bioscience, Chemistry, and Electronic and Electrical Engineering. The building is currently undergoing major internal renovation following the relocation of the Pharmacology and Bioscience departments to new accommodation in the John Arbuthnott (SIPBS) building, and the installation of a new heating system.

Meanwhile, a new biomedical sciences building was opened in early 2010. It was designed by Shepparrd Robson, and aims to bring the multi-faceted disciplines of the Institute together under one roof. Sited on Cathedral Street in Glasgow, the 8,000m2 building is the gateway to the University campus and city centre from the motorway.

The James Weir Building has been reconstructed and reopened in 2014 after a serious fire resulted in many rooms being unusable.

The Architecture Building, completed in 1967, is considered to be the best post-war building on campus. It was designed by Frank Fielden and Associates, Frank Fielden being the Professor of Architecture in the Architecture School at the time. The Architects Journal Magazine at the time highly praised this building for its restraint in the choice of materials and its organisational of the programme within the constraints of a difficult site. In 2012, Historic Scotland granted Listed Building Status (grade B) to it, along with the Wolfson Building designed by Morris and Steedman Architects. 2012 also saw the 20th Century Society select the Architecture Building as their 'Building of the Month' for September due to its cultural significance and enduring appeal.[11]

Library and Archives

The Andersonian Library is the principal library of the University of Strathclyde. Established in 1796, it is one of the largest of its type in Scotland. It is situated in the Curran building. Situated over 5 floors at present, the Andersonian Library has more than 2,000 reader places, 450 computer places and extensive wi-fi zones for laptop use. It has around one million print volumes as well as access to over 540,000 electronic books, 239 databases and over 38,000 e-journals that can be used 24/7 from any suitably enabled computer.[12]

The archives are divided into 3 as follows.[13]

University Archives

The official records of the University of Strathclyde from 1796 to the present day. Includes the records of the University’s predecessor institutions as well as the papers of many former staff and students and associated organisations. The University archives are a resource for the study of education, science and society in Scotland.

Deposited Archives

A diverse range of archives which have been acquired by gift or deposit to support the University’s teaching and research.

Special Collections

Rare or significant printed material and books, including the Anderson Collection (the personal library of John Anderson, 1726-1796, natural philosopher), plus over 30 other collections spanning the 16th to the 21st centuries.

Technology and Innovation Centre

The Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde (TIC) is a centre for technological research currently under construction in Glasgow, Scotland. It forms part of the University of Strathclyde's campus in the heart of the city. The construction of this centre began in March 2012 and is expected to be completed in mid 2014.

This project secured a £6.7 million funding from the European Regional Development Fund and another £26 million from the Scottish Government. The University itself is supplying the other £57 million needed to reach its £89 million budget needed to create the centre.[14][15]

The work started on the triangular, nine-storey, steel-framed building in March 2012 with a completion date set in 2014. The facility will be built to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘A’ rating standards – the industry’s highest energy-efficiency standard. This 25,000m2 space can accommodate around 1200 workers from numerous fields, including engineering, researching and project management from the university and outside industry. It will include open plan space for offices, three lecture theatres and areas for specialist laboratory equipment

In addition to the Technology and Innovation Centre, a 5000m2 Industry Engagement Building, which will be located adjacent to the TIC building, will accommodate around and extra 500 occupants to the already huge work force at the TIC. This additional building has now secured planning permission. The research that will be carried out in the Technology and Innovation Centre, by around 850 researchers from the University, is in the fields of: Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing, Advanced Science and Technology, Bionanotechnology, Business Engagement, Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC), Energy, Health Technologies at Strathclyde, Human and Social Aspects of Technology, Photonics and Sensors, and Asset Management.[16] The TIC hosts the UK's first Fraunhofer research centre, the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics and TIC also plays a major role in Scotland’s International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ).

Faculties and departments

The university currently consists of four main faculties categorised based on subjects and academic fields that they deal with and each faculty is sub divided into several departments which deal with specific academic and research areas. They are:

The university delivered teaching to 21,210 full-time and part-time students in 2014/15: 14,670 undergraduates and 6,540 postgraduates.[2] Another 34,000 people take part in continuing education and professional development programmes.[citation needed] The university's main campus, John Anderson Campus, is located in the centre of Glasgow, near George Square. Till 2012, the University operated an education campus in the suburb of Jordanhill, at the site of the previous Jordanhill Teacher Training College which it disposed off and relocated to a new building in the John Anderson Campus. In January 2012, The University’s Court also endorsed the recommendation of the Estates Steering Group that Strathclyde moves to a single campus by disposing of the entire Jordanhill site and constructing a new building for the Faculty of Education on the John Anderson campus.[17]

Strathclyde is the only Scottish university that offers the IET Power Academy engineering scholarships to its engineering students.[18]

Academic profile

Rankings and reputation

(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[23]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[24]
(2016, national)

The university ranks among the top 30 of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) league table published by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES),[25] although it did rank much higher in a number of areas in the same newspaper article – third in the UK for Electrical and Electronic Engineering[citation needed]; fourth for the combined Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences[citation needed], Biomedical Engineering and Speech and Language Therapy submission; fourth for the joint research including Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering[citation needed], Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management, Chemical and Process Engineering and Naval Architecture[citation needed], Ocean and Marine Engineering; fourth in Chemistry; 8th in Civil Engineering; and eleventh for Government and Public Policy.[citation needed] The Department of Physics has been rated the number one department in the UK,[citation needed] and Strathclyde Business School is in the top 10 in the UK and number one in Scotland.[citation needed]

The university is highly ranked among the top 10 in the UK in various subjects,[26] namely being 2nd for Accounting & Finance; 8th for Aural & Oral Sciences; 9th for Business & Management Studies; 2nd for Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism; 4th for Marketing; 10th for Mechanical Engineering and 1st for Medical Technology. QS World University Rankings 2013 [27] placed the university among the top 51-100 internationally for Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Pharmacy.

The University is one of the 39 old universities in the UK comprising the distinctive Cluster Two of elite universities after Oxbridge. A detailed study published in 2015 by Vikki Boliver has shown among the Old universities, Oxford and Cambridge emerge as an elite tier, whereas the remaining 22 Russell Group universities are undifferentiated from 17 other Old universities (including the University of Strathclyde) which form the second cluster.[7][8]


In 2011 the University’s Advanced Forming Research Centre was announced as a leading partner in the first UK-wide Technology Strategy Board Catapult Centre. The Government also announced that the University is to lead the UK-wide EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation.

The University has become the base for the first Fraunhofer Centre to be established in the UK. Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest organisation for contract research, is creating the new Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in collaboration with Strathclyde, for research in sectors including healthcare, security, energy and transport.

Strathclyde was chosen in 2012 as the exclusive European partner university for South Korea’s global research and commercialisation programme – the Global Industry-Academia Cooperation Programme, funded by South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge and Economics.

In 2012 the University became a key partner in its second UK Catapult Centre. Plans for the Catapult Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy were announced at Strathclyde by Business Secretary Vince Cable. The University has also become a partner in the Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy, which is one of 11 doctoral centres at Strathclyde.

Engineers at the University are leading the €4 million, Europe-wide Stardust project, a research-based training network investigating the removal of space debris and the deflection of asteroids.

Strathclyde has become part of the new ESRC Enterprise Research Centre, a £2.9 million venture generating world-class research to help stimulate growth for small and medium-sized enterprises.[4]

The University has centres in pharmacy, drug delivery and development, micro and ultrasonic engineering, biophotonics and photonics, biomedical engineering, medical devices, new therapies,prosthetics and orthotics, public health history, law, crime and justice and social work. The University is involved in 11 partnerships with other universities through the Scottish Funding Councils’ Research Pooling Programme, covering areas such as engineering, life sciences, energy, marine science and technology, physics, chemistry, computer sciences and economics.

Several Strathclyde staff have been elected to Fellowships in the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London, among the UK’s most prestigious honours.[28]



There are around 15,000 undergraduate students out of which almost 4,000 are mature students who start their studies after gaining experience in the workplace, and almost 16% are overseas students from more than 100 countries around the world. Around 7,000 students are undertaking postgraduate studies at Strathclyde. There are approximately 45,000 students studying part-time in the university each year, either in the evenings and weekends or through distance learning.[29] The university also has an alumni population of over 100,000 and growing.

Notable academics and alumni

See also


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External links