The Queen’s College, Glasgow, Scotland had its origins in the Glasgow & West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (Incorporated). This institution, affectionately known as the Dough School, had been established in 1908 as the result of an amalgamation of the Glasgow School of Cookery and the West End School of Cookery, Glasgow and was recognised as a Scottish Central Institution in July 1909 . In March 1975 , its centenary year, the College received the Royal accolade and was renamed The Queen’s College, Glasgow, (Queen Elizabeth II had been its patron since 1944). On Glasgow Polytechnic 1 April 1993 and the Queen’s College, Glasgow amalgamated to form Glasgow Caledonian University.
The first offices of the College were at 86 Bath Street, Glasgow. In 1909 an appeal was launched to fund the construction of a new building. A site in Park Drive, facing West End Park, Glasgow (now Kelvingrove Park) was chosen and building began in 1913. When the building was nearing completion the Red Cross requested use of the building as a hospital for the duration of the war. The Governors consented and the Woodside Red Cross Hospital subsequently opened. In 1919 the Red Cross handed the Park Drive building back to the College. Between 1923 and 1934 the College’s premises were extended by the acquisition of the 3 dwelling houses adjacent to the Park Drive building. In the 1970s the Park Drive campus was further extended and in September 1975 a new building was completed and opened.
The purpose of the College was to provide training for teachers of domestic science for schools and to provide instruction to the general public (and domestic servants). The latter were allowed to study for diplomas in single subjects such as needlework or cookery, but from 1910 diplomas were only awarded for complete courses.
During the First World War advice and training was provided for the military and civil authorities on such matters as catering. Public demonstrations where given to help people to cook on rations and to give advice on how to cope generally with food shortages. From 1919 the College provided Ministry of Labour training courses for former war workers in cookery, laundry and housework and for war widows in dressmaking. The College also acted as a central training place for unemployed girls under the schemes of the Central Committee for Women’s Training and Employment.
In 1925-1926 a course began for sister tutors and dieticians, aimed mainly at trained nurses and intending dieticians. The course included the subjects of physiology, hygiene, biology and bacteriology along with cookery, laundry and some book keeping. Courses in this field developed into certificates and diplomas and eventually to postgraduate diplomas and certificates in dietetics. From the 1920s the College purchased electrical equipment and classes in electrical housecraft and electrical repair were introduced. Students studying for certain College diplomas had to follow a course covering the work of the Electrical Association of Women (EAW) certificate examinations.
During the Second World War the College undertook similar advisory and training functions as it had done during the previous war. Mary Andross (1895-1968), Head of the Science Department, excelled in the development of vitamin C and with fruit and vegetable preservation. A Canteen in St Enoch Station, Glasgow was built and equipped by subscriptions raised by the staff and students, and it was also staffed by them.
Post war teaching at the College consisted of three main areas; home economics (the new name for domestic science), dietetics and institutional management. In the 1960s the Scottish Education Department decided that central institutions should concentrate on providing training at a high level and consequently, from the 1967-1968 session, the College only offered diploma and post diploma courses. Lower level courses were abandoned or passed on to the new further education colleges. Following the renaming of the College the range of subjects offered widened and this in turn opened the College up to male students. The level of teaching also developed and at the time of its merger with Glasgow Polytechnic in 1993, ten degree courses were on offer.
In 1976 the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) approved the College’s first degree course, a BSc in Dietetics, which ran in collaboration with Paisley College of Technology. Over the next few years several medical teaching schools were transferred to the College. In 1982, following the amalgamation of the physiotherapy schools, a BSc in Physiotherapy was introduced. In 1984 the Orthoptics School previously located at the Glasgow Eye Infirmary was transferred to the College. The Radiography School transferred from the Royal Beatson Memorial Hospital in January 1989, offering a diploma and later degrees validated by the College of Radiographers. In 1990 the Glasgow School of Chiropody and the Glasgow School of Occupational Therapy joined the College and soon degree courses were established. In 1987 the BSc Dietetics became the BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and was made the sole responsibility of Queen’s College, Glasgow. In 1982 the Council for National Academic Awards approved a degree in home economics. In 1985 a BA in Catering & Accommodation Management was established and in 1991 a BA in Hospitality Management was added.
In 1986 the Governors set up a company, QCG Enterprises Limited. The aim of the company was to market the skills and expertise of the College’s staff and also education materials and products emerging out of the College’s research work.
From July 1909 the College was recognised as a Scottish Central Institution. The original structure of the Governing Body was 21 Governors, elected from the Association, and 6 Governors elected from various leading bodies in Glasgow and the surroundings districts. This membership changed through time. The law firm Hill and Hoggan acted as the College’s Secretary and Treasurer from 1908 until 1972, when Mr Harry Rose took this position over completely. With the Central Institutions (Scotland) Regulations 1974, the structure of the Governors changed and the new Governing Body provided representation from many diverse areas, all of which had an interest or involvement in the College. These new arrangements contained a sharply reduced degree of representation by local councillors and emphasis moved showing an increase in members from the business community and other employers of students. It also included the wider membership of college student representatives, teaching staff and the Senates of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. Changes to nominated members occurred again for session 1976-1977 to cater for the new local authority restructuring and the establishment of Strathclyde Region. The composition of the Governing Body was again considered in 1989 and 1991. By virtue of The Central Institutions (Scotland) Regulation 1972 an Academic Council was formed in 1973 and apart from senior members of staff, it included six elected rank and file members. It dealt with a range of academic matters.
The Principals of the College over the years were Miss Ella Glasiter (1908-1910), Miss Dorothy Melvin (1910-1946), Miss Isobel Gibson (1947-1962), Miss Juliann Calder (1963-1976), Dr Geoffrey Richardson (1976-1991) and Dr John Phillips (1991-1993).
In 1910 Ella Glaister was responsible for the establishment of the "Glasgow Cookery Book", which still remains a popular publication.
[Source: Willie Thompson and Carole McCallum, Glasgow Caledonian University: Its Origins and Evolution (East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 1998) ]