A new and exciting era for education in Scotland was ushered in back in 2010, when City of Glasgow College arrived thanks to the merger of Central College Glasgow, Glasgow Metropolitan College, and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies. All three institutions had, for more than half-a-decade, been vital cogs in the city’s academic machine.
The story begins in 1956, when Stow College of Hairdressing was established by the Glasgow Corporation. Seven years later, the college was rebranded as the Central College of Commerce and Distribution, and memorably Labour leader Harold Wilson cut the ribbon at the new College of Building site in 1964. Three years down the line, building work got under way on Glasgow College of Nautical Studies. It was introduced to train and educate merchant navy members in a variety of marine disciplines, all on one site.
The Earl of Mountbatten, who was Admiral of the Fleet at the time, officially opened Glasgow College of Nautical Studies in 1969. Many of the first cohort of students were cadets.
The College of Building and College of Printing later merged to create the Glasgow College of Building and Printing, specialising in building, printing, design, furniture, creative crafts, and photography. It became Scotland’s only dedicated print training centre. Glasgow College of Nautical Studies added a General Studies department, and Central College of Commerce and Distribution became Central College of Commerce.
The Glasgow College of Food Technology was unveiled in 1973, serving up courses in Food Science, Catering, Hotel Management, Baking, General Studies, and English.
Moving with the times and fashion as ever, the 1980s inspired hair and beauty students at Central College of Commerce to replicate many of the iconic, striking appearances of pop stars from that era!
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By 1985, it was announced that nautical education in Scotland would all take place at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, and the Navigation department got its hands on a real-time mission simulator, helping it to become an industry-leading maritime studies hub!
The 1990s saw Glasgow College of Nautical Studies introduce new courses, such as Childcare, Computing, Management, Beauty Therapy, Sport, and Drama, whilst also striking a significant relationship with the Academy of Maritime Education in India. In 1998 Brian Wilson, Minister for Education and Industry, proudly opened a flexible learning space for students and the local community, at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.
The new £1.8 million Gateway building was also unveiled at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, to mark 35 years of nautical education. The new facility was designed to train extra merchant navy recruits, and provide better access for disabled students. Glasgow Metropolitan College was soon open for business, boasting more than 15,000 students across five campuses, having incorporated the College of Building & Printing and the College of Food Technology. A year later, Central College of Commerce became Central College Glasgow.
The journey took an exciting new twist in 2010 with the big amalgamation between Central College Glasgow, Glasgow Metropolitan College and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, forming the new City of Glasgow College in a move described by Principal Paul Little as “a historic milestone”.