Credit: Colin D via Unsplash

University of Glasgow named THE University of the Year

By Ollie Rudden

Times Higher Education gave the award to Glasgow on 26 November.

The University of Glasgow has been declared Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. 

The awards, which give prominent praise for exceptional achievements of individuals, teams and institutions in higher education gave Glasgow the prestigious award for its efforts to redress its past slavery links through reparative justice programme.

The judges said Glasgow was a “hugely deserving” winner, saying Glasgow stands out as a “shining example of what a university should be” praising its courage and action and tackling “the biggest issues in the world”. 

They added: “By taking a moral position and leading the way in facing up to the legacy of slavery and making amends, it has set the bar high both for itself and for all universities.”

Glasgow was also nominated for Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year for its work to create a three-dimensional virtual reality classroom for students to understand complex molecular structures.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “It is an enormous honour to be named as the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year for our work around historic slavery and reparative justice. I want to thank the judging panel and THE for their decision.

“We were the first UK university to recognise our historic links to slavery by researching our past and being open about all that we found. For any institution, talking about historical links to slavery can be a difficult conversation but we felt it was a necessary and right one for our university to have. For Glasgow, this initiative has had an immense impact on our institution today – in the way we teach, the way we think of ourselves and how we think about and interpret our history.

Liam Brady, president of the Students’ Representative Council, said: “This is a tremendous recognition of the ground-breaking work of our students and staff on slavery and reparative justice.

“The SRC is very proud to work in partnership with the University on this programme of active reparations. This work sends out a strong message to our students – past, present and future – not only that the University has owned its history but more importantly that as a modern-day institution it is embedding racial justice and reparative action at its heart.

You can find the full list of winners of the awards here.


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