The University of Strathclyde, which made history as the first UK education provider of its kind to become a technological university, is viewed as a pioneer in its field. A member of its alumni, John Logie Baird, even invented the world’s first working television!
In 1796, the institution was created as the dying wish of John Anderson, the University of Glasgow’s Professor of Natural Philosophy. Anderson left instructions and most of his estate, to establish another university in the city that would place an emphasis on practical subjects for ‘useful learning’.
It was named Anderson’s University in 1828, but had to be changed in 1887 when the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College was formed, becoming Royal Technical College 25 years later, and the Royal College of Science and Technology in 1956. By then, the focus was very much on science and engineering teaching and research. Undergraduate students were able to qualify for degrees of the University of Glasgow or the equivalent Associate of the Royal College of Science and Technology.
In 1964, at which point the Principal was pioneering nuclear physicist Samuel Curran, the Royal College was granted university status courtesy of a Royal Charter, and was referred to from then on as the University of Strathclyde, merging with the Scottish College of Commerce. The immensely-popular Curran, who commanded respect across the globe, went on to invent the scintillation counter, earning his place in the history books. By 1993, it had absorbed Jordanhill College of Education.
Having welcomed around 4,000 full-time students through the doors back in 1964, the university went from strength to strength and today has a student population of around 67,000, with many international learners from over 100 countries.
If you've been made an offer for a place at the university then have a look at some of our student accommodation in Glasgow below:
In 2003, staff and students alike marked the 100th anniversary of laying the foundation stone of the original Royal College building, with a number of activities and events. And they were graced by the presence of royalty in 2015, when the Queen unveiled the Technology and Innovation Centre.
The university claimed 59th position in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings on a national level, and 401-500 worldwide. It has also been the proud owner of the Times Higher Education Business School of the Year award. It is one of the UK’s leading research universities, and has a new Technology & Innovation Centre designed to revolutionise the way in which industry and academia collaborate. Recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) results rated its Department of Physics as number one in the UK.
Stand-out members of the University of Strathclyde alumni include entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Thomas Hunter, Paralympic gold medal-winning tandem cyclist and world record holder Aileen McGlynn, explorer David Livingstone, and Dame Elish Angiolini, Scotland’s first female Solicitor General and Lord Advocate.
Several pioneers in the world of science attended or worked at the university, such as Thomas Graham, who formulate the law of diffusion of gases, computer scientist Conor McBride, and James Croll, an early investigator of climate change, which has of course become one of the biggest talking points of the 21st century.