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No Mean City: 1914 to 1950s

Learning and Beliefs

Universities and Higher Education

By Michael Moss

Reading Room After the First World War higher education changed fundamentally with the provision of state funding through the University Grants Committee. As the University of Glasgow had affiliated with the Royal Technical College in 1912, both institutions were recognised as degree-awarding bodies from the outset. During much of the inter-war years there was a malaise in both institutions, no doubt reflecting the severe problems in the local economy. In 1936 Sir Hector Hetherington (1888-1965) was appointed Principal of the University to reinvigorate its academic purpose and to increase the number of students. In this he was remarkably successful, attracting distinguished scholars, fostering the development of social sciences and very perceptively foreseeing the coming of the National Health Service. Among the men of distinction he brought to Glasgow were Sir James Cook, Sir Charles Illingworth, Ian Donald, Philip Dee and Sydney Checkland.

Royal Technical College Both the University and the Royal Technical College made important contributions to the Second World War assisting in the development of the national diet, co-ordinating blood transfusion services and training specialists. Glasgow Veterinary College joined the University in 1945 and the Glasgow Dental Hospital and School in 1947. In 1945 Sir David Anderson became Principal of the Royal Technical College with an ambition to achieve university status. Throughout the 1950s there were strained relations with the University, which failed to recognise the merits of the claims of the Royal College of Science and Technology, as it became in 1956. Under Anderson's successor, Sir Samuel Curran, the college became the University of Strathclyde in 1964.

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