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Second City of The Empire: 1830s to 1914

Learning and Beliefs

Universities and Higher Education

By Michael Moss

University of Glasgow Between the 1830s and the outbreak of the First World War the University of Glasgow, like the city, changed beyond all recognition. New subjects were introduced in the arts and sciences, chairs established and courses devised. In 1870 the University moved from the High Street to a magnificent new building at Gilmorehill in the west-end. The most famous professors in this period were Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), Sir Joseph Lister (1827-1912) and William McQuorn Rankine (1820-1872).

Dr Thomas Morrison The Andersonian Institution, which became the Glasgow Royal Technical College (RTC) in 1887, continued to provide practical instruction, largely in evening classes. Several new institutions for higher education were set up including the Free Normal Seminary for training teachers in the mid-1830s, the Glasgow School of Art in 1845 and the Glasgow Athenaeum, which amongst other things provided musical training, in 1847. In the late 19th century there was pressure for the higher education of women, leading to the establishment of Queen Margaret College in 1884, which became part of the University of Glasgow in the 1890s. Following the example of the University, the RTC commissioned a handsome new building at the turn of the century.

Royal Technical College The University signed an affiliation agreement with the RTC in 1912 allowing its students to graduate. The University had over 4,000 students by 1919 while the RTC had 5,000. During these years much was done to improve student welfare with the formation of unions and student representative councils. Many staff, students and graduates of both institutions served in the armed forces and many were killed during the First World War.

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