A university for the world

The University of Glasgow and our inspiring people have been changing the world for more than 570 years

Adam Smith laid the foundations of modern economics. James Watt gave power to the industrial revolution. Ian Donald showed us the first ultrasound image of a foetus. Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered radio pulsars.

Today, our inspiring people continue to change the world for the better. Our six crossdisciplinary areas of world-class research are shining examples of what we do best at Glasgow, each one combining a drive for pushing the boundaries of knowledge with a commitment to making a positive impact on the world:

  • addressing inequalities
  • cultural & creative economies
  • precision medicine & chronic diseases
  • one health
  • future life
  • the nano & quantum world.

Changing the world is not only about making discoveries and creating new technologies. Informed leaders, creative thinkers and bold business minds have honed their skills at Glasgow. The talents of some of the UK’s most influential political figures have been nurtured here. Award-winning writers have developed their craft. Human rights activists have gained their voice.

We are a place where the synergy between our research and teaching inspires ambitious people to succeed. A place where inquiring minds can develop their ideas. A place where talented people are given the space to realise their dreams.

Most importantly, we are open to the world. Our doors are open to the brightest minds, regardless of background, who wish to study at university. We are open to collaboration and the exchange of knowledge with other universities, government and business.

To continue to be a world-class and progressive university, we are dedicated to bringing inspiring people together to change the world.

University Cloisters

OUR PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION

1451
The UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW is established

1776
ADAM SMITH Publishes the Wealth of nations

1837
JAMES MCCUNE SMITH becomes the first african american to be awarded a medical degree

1848
LORD KELVIN proposes an absolute scale of temperature

1894
MARION GILCHRIST is the first woman in Scotland to graduate in medicine

1896
JOHN MACINTYRE opens the world’s first X-ray department

1913
Nobel prizewinner FREDERICK SODDY discovers isotopes

1926
JOHN LOGIE BAIRD invents television

1958
IAN DONALD shows us the first ultrasound image of a foetus

1967
JOCELYN BELL BURNELL discovers radio pulsars

1974
GRAHAM TEASDALE and BRYAN JENNETT create the Glasgow Coma Scale

2004
EDWIN MORGAN becomes Scotland’s first National Poet

2015
SHEILA ROWAN leads the Glasgow team that first detected gravitational waves

2021
DAVID MACMILLAN receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

World-changing research

Glasgow is a place where inquiring minds can develop their ideas. A place where people make discoveries that change the world.

Our researchers show curiosity, openness, a strong social commitment and a willingness to challenge the status quo. Our six crossdisciplinary areas of research illustrate the breadth and depth of our expertise, our ability to work together to address global goals and our commitment to deliver economic and societal change, both locally and internationally.

 

Spotlight on Research

'Spotlight on Research' focuses on our world-changing researchers and their fantastic work at the University of Glasgow. The series showcases how researchers at different stages in their career contribute to the University’s mission to transform lives through ideas and action.  

Wridhdhisom Karar - Quantum Computing

Jude Robinson - Water and Waste

Tim Barker - Media Technology and Aesthetics

Caroline Gauchotte-Lindsay - Environmental Engineering and Chemistry

Steven Johnson - Quantum Photonics

Marta Vignola - Water Treatment Technologies

Innovation

Printed circuit board

OUR DISCOVERIES, KNOWLEDGE AND PARTNERSHIPS ARE PROVIDING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS AND CHANGING THE WORLD

Through our innovations we are growing economies, tackling inequalities and improving the health and wellbeing of citizens to create sustainable futures for our communities. 

Our central role in the local ecosystem anchors glasgow as a place where innovation can flourish.

Our research partnerships and consultancies connect our academic knowledge to the needs of today’s world

We are transforming the treatment of chronic diseases. Our collaboration with Eli Lilly & Company is discovering the next generation of drug targets for immunological diseases to improve patient quality of life. In partnership with Roche, our Glasgow Biomarker Centre is enhancing treatment options for the estimated 64 million people living with heart failure worldwide.

QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging led by the University, is central to industrially led collaborative projects aimed at revolutionising imaging across industrial and consumer markets. 

We are partnering with a network of UK heritage organisations to explore community-generated digital content about the past and create a shared national collection that is searchable by anyone, anywhere in the world.

Our research-led innovations are enabling new company creation to deliver economic and social impact

Following market success with its semiconductor design software, University spin-out Gold Standard Simulations Ltd was acquired by multinational, market-leader Synopsys Inc. establishing Synopsys’ Glasgow-based R&D Centre which continues to work with the University.

Based on University research, SOLASTA Bio Ltd has developed the world’s first technology platform for creating novel green insecticides for use in the global agricultural industry in an environmentally and sustainable manner. 

The University’s thriving community of student founded start-up businesses includes SENSECity Studios, which specialises in augmented and mixed reality experiences for culture and heritage tourism industries. 

Our place-based innovations are changing Glasgow for the better

The Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID) is an ambitious partnership between the University, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council and the local community of Govan. GRID is creating opportunity and lasting benefit for all by stimulating economic growth, creating jobs, attracting inward investment and improving the wellbeing of citizens. 

Within GRID, the University is creating a precision medicine living laboratory including a purpose-built Health Innovation Hub which will create 450 new employment opportunities in Govan.

The GALLANT programme, led by our Centre for Sustainable Solutions, is partnering with local leadership, industry, and community groups and organisations to create a series of urban transformation projects in support of Glasgow’s ambition to reach net zero by 2030.

Connecting globally

illustration of globe showing connections from UK

WE ARE CONTINUING OUR TRADITION OF WORLD-CHANGING SCHOLARSHIP BY WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHERS ACROSS THE GLOBE

The University has often been the starting point for significant journeys of discovery and collaboration. For over five centuries we’ve inspired people who have gone on to shape other great educational institutions around the world, and we maintain strong relationships with many of these institutions to this day. 

Through our strategic university partnerships, research collaborations, joint degrees, and student exchange and study abroad programmes, we are creating the opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and new ways of learning. 

Key priority partnerships with the Universities of Hong Kong and Sydney, McGill University, Columbia University, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Radboud University and the Smithsonian Institution bring our inspiring people together, while partnerships with the Singapore Institute of Technology, Nankai University and the University of Electronic Science & Technology of China (UESTC) mean that we continue to extend our global footprint through innovative transnational education.

We currently have 420 study abroad and exchange partners. Our students are more internationally mobile than ever before, while we work hard to internationalise the experience of gaining a Glasgow degree for all of our students. 

We are proud to be founding members of university networks Universitas 21 and The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities, which are growing our international reputation and reach and providing a platform for engaging in new collaborations and influencing sector-wide policy. 

The best institutions in the world are those that are deemed truly global, and we are proud to be one of them. Expect more inspiring discoveries and innovations as we continue to expand our international connections and impact.

World-changing campus

exterior of James McCune Smith Learning Bub

WE HAVE DELIVERED ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EXPANSIONS OF A UK UNIVERSITY CITY CAMPUS FOR OVER A CENTURY

Over the last decade, the University of Glasgow has invested in its estate to expand its world-class campus and facilities. An area covering 14 acres of land next to our magnificent Gilmorehill campus has been redeveloped to build a mix of modern research, teaching and public spaces. 

Our new buildings will mean the University remains a centre for world-changing research, as well as a vibrant community hub and centre for public engagement.

The development will transform our teaching, learning and research spaces. It will allow us to bring together the best minds of today and tomorrow within world-class interdisciplinary research spaces that offer flexibility and stimulate collaboration, and modern study spaces that will combine study and social learning space with technology-enabled teaching.

An excellent student experience

Aerial shot of UofG letters made up by students standing in formation

WE DEVELOP AND SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS SO THAT THEY FULFIL THEIR POTENTIAL AND CONTRIBUTE IN THE FULLEST WAY TO CULTURE, SOCIETY AND THE LOCAL AND GLOBAL ECONOMY THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVES

We create an inclusive environment where students develop meaningful relationships with one another and with staff and, through those encounters, create new knowledge, challenge received wisdom, build inter-cultural and leadership capabilities, and develop disciplinary excellence and an appetite for lifelong learning and enquiry.

Rapid and seismic impacts on societies and economies around the world from the Coronavirus pandemic, combined with the fast pace of change resulting from the effect of technology, require flexible and adaptable graduates who can integrate knowledge across disciplines to bring creative solutions to complex world problems.

Our learning and teaching is shaped by the values, creativity, ambition and commitment of students and staff, needed to support them to thrive in a rapidly shifting, internationally competitive higher education sector.

  • We promote, encourage and enable more pervasive engagement with student-centred active learning approaches
  • We transform curricula and assessment in ways that address the societal challenges that we face globally, reflect our values of inclusivity and integrity, draw on best practice in teaching and assessment, and embed work-related, professionally recognised learning opportunities for students
  • We work in partnership with students to support their development as flexible and adaptable graduates who can work effectively with others to bring disciplinary skills and knowledge together to form creative solutions to complex world problems.

Our city, our partner

view of the Clyde Arc at night

THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW WAS FOUNDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CITY AND ITS PEOPLE

We work with companies and organisations throughout the city to co-design solutions to create real, lasting impact and opportunity in Glasgow and beyond. Our staff and students are engaged in strong, enduring research and community partnerships to improve health, boost the economy, build a better future and celebrate the achievements of those living in Glasgow.

The University is a key player in the city’s ambitious plans for the regeneration of the River Clyde and in the development of a Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), which is helping to transform some of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

Our researchers are helping the city move towards climate resilience while tackling health, social and economic inequalities by working in partnership with Glasgow City Council on a £10.2 million research programme.

Volunteering is a vital part of the University of Glasgow’s culture. We have built partnerships with more than 50 social enterprises, charities, community projects and public bodies across Glasgow and beyond.

Our vet students run a monthly drop-in service to provide care to homeless dogs in Glasgow. The clinics operate out of homeless centres and drop-in facilities so that owners can get support for themselves too.

A group of Glasgow dental students has established five oral health clinics in foodbanks throughout Glasgow. As well as providing those in lower income households with free dental supplies and advice, the group also encourages people to register with a dentist.

Our IntoUniversity learning centres have opened in the heart of some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities as a practical response to the poverty and educational limitations that can impact the lives of young people growing up there.

Sustainability in action

aerial shot of forest

AT GLASGOW, WE’RE TAKING SUSTAINABILITY SERIOUSLY, AND WE’VE BEEN RECOGNISED FOR OUR EFFORTS

In June 2023 we were ranked 13th in the world in both the QS Sustainability Rankings and the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, a rise of six places, for our contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By aligning our activities closely with the SDGs, we can help tackle the most pressing global challenges facing humanity and the natural world.

  • Our Carbon Management Plan sets out actions we will take to reach our emissions target
  • Our economic contribution to the UK economy has been valued at around £4.4bn
  • Our S-Labs programme launched reduces laboratory activity impact on the environment
  • Our Catering & Events are Fairtrade, Sustainable Restaurant Association, Vegetarian Society, Vegan Society and Red Tractor accredited. We have phased out single-use plastics from our catering operations
  • We are a proud Accredited Living Wage employer
  • We have been a member of the Athena SWAN Charter since 2011
  • We are a Disability Confident employer and offer a guaranteed interview for applicants
  • We have achieved a 50:50 gender balance on our University Senior Management Group.