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Glasgow College of Technology

Corporate Biography



Location of main offices

Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, Scotland

Main function

Higher education institution

Non-preferred terms

Glasgow College 1987-1991

Alternative name(s)

Glasgow Polytechnic 1991-1993


Glasgow College of Technology was established in 1971, as a result of the merger of two proposed colleges of higher education, the College of Science and Technology and the College of Commerce. In 1987 the Board of Governors agreed to change the name of the College to Glasgow College, mainly for advertising purposes, although for legal purposes the name remained Glasgow College of Technology. Several attempts were made to designate the College a polytechnic. It was proposed in 1971 and 1979 but it was not until 1 January 1991 that it became Glasgow Polytechnic. The new Polytechnic was officially launched on 1 May 1991.

Following the Government's White Paper 'Higher Education: A New Framework' in May 1991 the new institution saw their opportunity to become a University and to award their own degrees. Discussions were entered into with The Queen's College with regards to a merger and the intention to merge was announced on 4 December 1991. In June 1992 Glasgow Polytechnic was granted full degree awarding powers and on 1 April 1993 it finally merged with The Queen's College to form Glasgow Caledonian University.

Details of premises

The institution's premises are located on Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow in a purpose built complex.


The original aim of the institution was to develop a higher level of academic training and to offer degrees validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). In 1971 there were 12 departments. On the technological side there was Optics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Biology, Computing, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. On the non-technological side there was Business Administration, Law and Public Administration, Commerce, Management and Finance, Social Sciences and Humanities. The first CNAA degree to be offered was in optics. Other courses on offer were diplomas and certificates validated by the Scottish Technical Education Council (SCOTEC) or the Scottish Business Education Council (SBEC). The Social Sciences and Humanities Departments both provided teaching towards London University degrees.

The second CNAA degree was introduced in 1973, a BA in Social Sciences and this was followed, in 1977, by a degree in nursing. A Department of Nursing Studies was established in 1980 and there was a clear commitment to development in this area.

In 1981 three faculties were established, Business and Administration Studies, Life and Social Sciences and Science and Engineering. This decade also saw a move to improve the standard of engineering education. By the early 1980s there was a CNAA validated BSc in Engineering and soon approval was given for a Bachelor of Engineering. Development of offering joint courses with neighbouring further education establishments continued. In 1985 the full time courses on offer included 14 degrees, 12 higher diplomas and higher national diplomas. There were 7 other diplomas and professional courses such as those in nursing, over 50 part time courses, 2 of which were degrees-BSc in Mechanical Engineering and the BA in Social Sciences. In June 1992Glasgow Polytechnic was granted full degree awarding powers.

Administrative structure

The institution was initially under the control of Glasgow Corporation. The Board of Governors was responsible for the allocation of resources and the academic board, chaired by the College's director dealt with academic planning, implementation of quality control and academic affairs. In 1975 control of the College was transferred from Glasgow Corporation to the newly formed Strathclyde Regional Council. In 1985 the College became a Scottish Central Institution.

Reference codes of collections created by the corporate body

GB 1847 GP


List of sources for the administrative information:

Thompson, W. and McCallum, C.Glasgow Caledonian University: its origins and evolution, (East Linton, Tuckwell Press Ltd, 1998)

Rules or Conventions

Authority record created according to the National Council on ArchivesRules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names (NCA Rules)1997 and International Council on Archives: Ad Hoc Committee on Descriptive StandardsInternational Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families (ISAAR)CPF1995.

Date of Creation

Corporate name authority record compiled for the GASHE project by Emily Woolmore, GASHE project archivist, 4 April 2000