The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. The university was founded in 1451 and is often ranked in the world’s top 100 universities in tables compiled by various bodies. In 2013, Glasgow moved to its highest ever position, placing 51st in the world and 9th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings.
In common with universities of the time, Glasgow educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, but was also, with the University of Edinburgh, a leading centre of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. The University became a pioneer in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle classes. Glasgow served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering. In 2007, the Sunday Times ranked it as “Scottish University of the Year.”
The university is a member of the Russell Group which represents the highest-ranked public research-based universities in the UK. It is also a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities.Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmore hill in the West End of the city. Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Mill port at Loch Lomond, and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.Glasgow has departments of Law, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry. Its submission to the most recent UK university research assessment was one of the broadest in the UK.
Glasgow’s financial endowment is the fifth largest (and fourth largest per head) among UK universities. Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, two British Prime Ministers, several leaders of Britain’s and Scotland’s major political parties, and numerous leading figures from legal, scientific and business professions. Entry to the university is highly competitive; applications for each place on many of its courses run into double figures, and successful entrants have on average almost 460 UCAS points. This ranks as the 12th highest among UK higher education institutions (“Entry Standards” – CUG University League Table 2014).