The University of Glasgow is a public research university in Glasgow, Scotland. It is one of Scotland’s four ancient universities, and it is the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world. It is a member of the Russell Group and Universitas 21.
The university was founded in 1451 when Pope Nicholas V gave permission for a university to be added to Glasgow Cathedral; teaching began in the cathedral chapterhouse. It was granted land by Mary, Queen of Scots, and began its expansion through the city and beyond. Its main campus – the Gilmorehill campus – is based in Hillhead, and other campuses include the Crichton in Dumfries.
The University of Glasgow began preparing students for careers in law, medicine, teaching, the church and the civil service before branching out into teaching science and engineering. Today, it has four colleges: the Colleges of Arts, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Social Sciences.
The university played major roles during the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution; James Watt developed his steam engine technology at the university. In October 2014, it became the first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels.
Facilities and attractions include the Macfarlane Observatory, the Lion and Unicorn staircase, and the oldest museum in Scotland: the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.
Its alumni and former faculty members include Adam Smith, James Watt, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Lord Kelvin, Joseph Lister and two British prime ministers.