Glasgow Named THE UK University of the Year

Time High Education Winner

The University of Glasgow has been named Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year.

Glasgow’s work to redress its historic links to slavery through a significant programme of reparative justice helped it to secure the prestigious title of University of the Year at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2020.

In September 2018, in a UK first, the University of Glasgow published a report based on comprehensive research conducted by historians Professor Simon Newman and Dr Stephen Mullen in our College of Arts which also set out a proactive programme of reparative justice recommendations.

The THE awards - widely referred to as the ‘Oscars of higher education’ - shine a spotlight on the exceptional achievements of individuals, teams and institutions working in Higher Education.

The judges hailed Glasgow as a “hugely deserving” University of the Year.


Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “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.”

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 – reflecting the reality of how they operate, and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do.

In September 2018, the University of Glasgow published a report based on comprehensive research conducted by historians Professor Simon Newman and Dr Stephen Mullen into its historic links into slavery.

That report, called Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow, was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. It acknowledged that whilst the University of Glasgow played a leading role in the abolitionist movement in the 18th and 19th centuries, the institution also received significant financial support – between £16m-200m in today’s money - from people whose wealth was derived, in part, from slavery.

While acknowledging these historical benefits, the University choose to enact a programme of reparative justice and you can explore more about this work on the Historical Slavery Initiative webpages.

First published: 3 December 2020

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