Times Higher Education 2020 University of the Year
The University of Glasgow was Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2020.
THE Awards are the biggest celebration of UK higher education in the calendar. This event recognises outstanding work across a wide range of university activity in academia and the professional services. Our work to redress historic links to slavery through a significant programme of reparative justice helped us to secure this prestigious title.
Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “It is an enormous honour to be named as the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year for our work around historic slavery and reparative justice. I want to thank the judging panel and THE for their decision.
“We were the first UK university to recognise our historic links to slavery by researching our past and being open about all that we found. For any institution, talking about historical links to slavery can be a difficult conversation but we felt it was a necessary and right one for our university to have. For Glasgow, this initiative has had an immense impact on our institution today: in the way we teach, the way we think of ourselves and how we think about and interpret our history.
"At a time when universities are too often on the back foot in public debates about value and relevance, Glasgow stood out as a shining example of what a university should be: institutions of courage and action, uniquely placed to tackle the biggest issues facing the world. By taking a moral position and leading the way in facing up to the legacy of slavery and making amends, it has set the bar high both for itself and for all universities.” THE judges
“Issues of race and racial justice are coming more to the fore in our society today not only in the UK but also more widely in the western world. So for me and the University of Glasgow, the work we are doing on reparative justice is also a platform for how we achieve racial justice, not just around our links to slavery but what it means today for a university that strives to move forward putting equality and justice at its heart.
“The programme of reparative justice we have embarked upon at Glasgow is a start but it’s certainly not an end point. I am extremely grateful to our students, staff and partners in the University of the West Indies, in the city of Glasgow and our advisory board who have worked to make this initiative a reality.”
Liam Brady, President of the Students’ Representative Council, said: “This is a tremendous recognition of the ground-breaking work of our students and staff on slavery and reparative justice.
“The SRC is very proud to work in partnership with the University on this programme of active reparations. This works sends out a strong message to our students – past, present and future – not only that the University has owned its history but more importantly that as a modern-day institution it is embedding racial justice and reparative action at its heart.
“It also shows how the SRC is working hard to represent all students, and through the strong working partnership we have with the University we have representation and impact at all levels of decision making.”