On 1 April 1993 , Glasgow Caledonian University was formed in Glasgow, Scotland, through the merger of The Queen’s College, Glasgow, and Glasgow Polytechnic. Glasgow Caledonian University was established by the Secretary of State for Scotland by the Glasgow Caledonian University (Establishment) (Scotland) Order of 1993 and was eligible for funding from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. A closure order shut down Glasgow Polytechnic and The Queen’s College, Glasgow, and their property rights and obligations were transferred to the new University’s Court, which replaced the governing bodies of the parent institutions.
Initially the University possessed 3 campuses - that of the former Polytechnic which was named City Campus, that of the former Queen’s College named Park Campus (sold to Glasgow University in January 2001 ) and the buildings leased by Queen’s College adjacent to Jordanhill College of Education named Southbrae Campus (this closed in 1998 ). The University’s main offices are at Cowcaddens Road (City Campus). In June 1994, the University Court approved an estates strategy which included plans for a new Faculty of Health building, a new sports centre and the renovation and extension of the library (becoming Caledonian Library and Information Centre, CLIC).
The aim of the new University was to offer non-elitist, high quality education and training to a wide and diverse range of students. It sought to collaborate with commercial and industrial organisations and other providers of education. The University initially offered more than 140 undergraduate and post graduate courses within 3 faculties and 22 departments The original 3 faculty structure was made up of Health; Science and Technology and Business (becoming the Caledonian Business School in 1999, the largest of its kind in Scotland). In 2002 the structure was changed and the following Schools were established: Built and Natural Environment; Caledonian Business School; Computing and Mathematical Science; Engineering, Science and Design; Health and Social Care; Law and Social Sciences; Life Sciences; and Nursing Midwifery and Community Health.
In April 1993 the University’s Department of Nursing and Community Health was designated Scotland’s first World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Nursing, and only the third in the UK. In 1996 the University took over the contract for provision of pre-registration nursing and midwifery education from the Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery which were operated by the health boards. This moved this type of education into the tertiary education sector.
Glasgow Caledonian University has established a distinctive identity in terms of its flexible, vocationally orientated academic programmes, its emphasis on life long learning and the wide range of client groups it serves. It offers programmes in all of the SHEFC funding groups except medicine/dentistry and teacher education. In May 2002 it launched the first Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning. The vision of the University into the new millennium calls for it to be innovative in programmes, learning and research, inclusive of all sectors of society, and responsive to the needs of the individual. The University works towards the Scottish Parliament’s policy of social inclusion regarding improving access and widening participation in higher education through non-traditional routes and sectors. At time of writing the University has 15,000 students, 1,500 staff, 25 percent of students studying part-time, 66 percent of students over the age of 21, and over 700 International students from over 70 countries.
The University is managed by the University Court, who met for the first time on 20 April 1993 (prior to this a shadow court had been in operation). Senate designate was established in March 1993 with input from Glasgow Polytechnic’s Academic Board and The Queen’s College’s Academic Council. Senate proper had its first meeting on 19 March 1993. At the time of establishment the University’s senior management structure was made up of the University Management Group (UMG) and the Strategic Planning and Resource Committee (SPARC). This was replaced by a University Executive. Committee structures exist to follow through the work of Court and Senate.
The University Court is a corporate body with key responsibilities in relation to the University’s overall strategic direction and for ensuring that the University’s business is conducted in accordance with the approved mission statement and objectives. It is the employer of University staff and has overall responsibility for the financial and physical wellbeing of the University. The main responsibilities of the Court Office include providing advice on statutory, procedural and governance matters to Court and its Standing Committees; providing administrative support to Court and its Standing Committees; and dealing with insurance and legal matters. In 2002 the Standing Committees of Court are Finance and General Purposes Committee, Audit Committee, Staff Policy Committee and Health and Safety Committee.
The Academic Secretariat was established within Academic Administration on 1 August 2001. Staff are involved in advising on University regulations and procedures ranging from assessment regulations to programme specifications and research degree regulations to quality assurance, and in providing professional administrative support to Senate Standing Committees and their Sub-Committees. Secretaries to Standing Committees are responsible, together with the Committee Chair, for ensuring proper governance and conduct of the Committees including the effective discharge of the Committee’s terms of reference. The Standing Committees of Senate in 2002 are Academic Practice Committee, Academic Policy and Planning Committee, Postgraduate Learning Contracts Committee, Research and Commercialisation Committee and Research Degrees Committee.
In 1996 the University conferred an honorary degree on Nelson Mandela and in June 2001 his wife, Graça Machel, visited and unveiled a portrait by Anne Mackintosh. Since 1994 Glasgow Caledonian University has contributed to the reconstruction of Southern Africa through support of various educational institutions and organisations and also through project work in areas such as primary health care and housing. One of its buildings was named after Govan Mbeki and opened by his son (Thabo Mbeki), the then President of South Africa, on 13 June 2001.