Posted in A to Z

U is for University

Glasgow UniversityThe University of Glasgow was founded by a Papal Bull from Pope Nicholas V in 1451 making it the 4th oldest university in the English speaking world. Instruction was first given in the chapterhouse of Glasgow Cathedral before moving to the “Auld Pedagogy” in Rottenrow. In 1563, Mary Queen of Scots gave the university 13 acres of land at the High Street belonging to the dominican monks and by the 17th century consisted of two courtyards surrounded by pleasant walled gardens with a clock tower.

In 1870 the university had moved to Gilmorehill in the west of the city where its main buildings still stand.

A member of the prestigious Russell group, Glasgow University currently ranks 9th in the UK and 54th in the world. In. The. World. Not bad for a wee nation of less than 6 million souls.

Past students at the university include two former Prime Ministers, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Andrew Bonar Law. More modern politicians include Donald Dewar, Charles Kennedy, Liam Fox, John Smith, Sir Menzies Campbell and Nicola Sturgeon. Physicist Lord Kelvin, Joseph Lister and the father of economics, Adam Smith are all past alumni.

And me.

Cloisters at Glasgow UniversityI went to Glasgow Uni in 1979 and studied Politics and Psychology. I loved my time there. Whenever I felt stressed out and in need of a little inspiration I’d go and wander around the Quad and the cloisters, remembering all the great minds who were there before me. It usually gave me the kick up the backside I needed to get going again.

This year, my daughter will be going there to study English Language and Literature. I like to hope that it might be the start of a family tradition.




Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

3 thoughts on “U is for University

  1. Nettie – Congratulations to your daughter as she starts her adult life. And thanks for sharing this fascinating history! I don’t realise what a long and interesting background the University of Glasgow had. I think that’s what I really like about colleges and universities – their histories.

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