Career-focused teaching. World-leading research. An international outlook. And a far-sighted approach to technology and innovation. For the ultimate student and business experience, look to UWS. University of the West of Scotland is a large, modern, multi-campus University with its origins dating back to 1897. We have 4 campuses across the west and southwest of Scotland and one campus in central London. At UWS, we invest in our students’ future. Our graduates go out into the world ready to succeed thanks to our industry-relevant courses, cutting-edge facilities and innovative approach to teaching.The University of the West of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh na h-Alba an Iar), formerly the University of Paisley, is a public university with four campuses in south-western Scotland, in the towns of Paisley, Blantyre, Dumfries and Ayr, as well as a campus in London, England. The present institution dates from August 2007, following the merger of the University of Paisley with Bell College, Hamilton. It can trace its roots to the late 19th century, and has undergone numerous name changes and mergers over the last century, reflecting its gradual expansion throughout the west of Scotland region.Holding a regional reputation for vocational undergraduate and post-graduate courses the university currently has 16,105 students, with approximately 1300 staff, spread across six schools of learning. The Crichton Campus in Dumfries is maintained in partnership with a number of other institutions, including the University of Glasgow. Although classified as a new university, the University of the West of Scotland has a rich, diverse history inherited from the various institutions that preceded it, including the Paisley School of Art (1836–1897), University of Paisley, Bell College of Technology, Craigie College of Education and Dumfries and Galloway College of Nursing.At the time of the Industrial Revolution, Paisley was renowned for thread weaving. The Coats mill was run by two brothers, Peter and Thomas Coats. These men, children of the Scottish Enlightenment had liberal ideals and became noted philanthropists. As members of the Philosophical Institution, founded in 1808 the Coats donated a museum and library to the town, funded the building of the Coats observatory and promoted education throughout Paisley. The Philosophical Institution, helped establish the School of Arts in 1836, which become a Government School of Design in 1846, one of twenty similar institutions established in UK manufacturing centres from 1837 to 1851. They were set up to improve the quality of the country's product design through training in design for industry. Peter Coats was director of both Paisley Philosophical Institution and the Government School of Design. Later, the Design schools were renamed Schools of Art, and once again as Schools of Art and Science. In 1897 Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll laid the foundation stone of a grand new building for the college. The design was the winner of an architectural competition and partially funded by local industrialists (Peter Brough, and Thomas Coats both contributed).By the start of the twentieth century, Paisley Technical College and School of Art, (as it was known from 1904) was a centre for teaching the University of London External Programme. Perhaps the most famous principal of the college was Lewis Fry Richardson, FRS principal from 1922 to 1940. A mathematician, physicist, meteorologist, psychologist and pacifist who pioneered modern mathematical techniques of weather forecasting, as well as the application of similar techniques to studying war. He also carried out ground breaking work on fractals.Throughout the first half of the century the institution had a financial struggle. After the second world war Central Institution status provided a regular Government income but unfortunately also meant closing the school of Art, and ceding students to Glasgow School of Art. The new entity thus became Paisley College of Technology; a Government funded Central Institution in 1950. In the 1960s a large physical expansion took place alongside the Neo-Classical original building on the main 20 acre (81,000 m2) Paisley town centre site. At the time Paisley, in common with other Central Institutions and the former Polytechnics, already offered a range of degrees under the Council for National Academic Awards. With the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, the Paisley College of Technology was granted the title University of Paisley and was established as a university with a Royal Charter and degree awarding powers. Today, this institution forms Paisley Campus of the university.On 1 August 2007, the University of Paisley merged with Bell College, Hamilton. On 30 November 2007, the Privy Council approved the name University of the West of Scotland for the merged institution. The name change was resisted by many in Paisley, seeing it as a break with tradition and the connections binding the previous university to the town. The 'Keep It Paisley' campaign attracted a number of supporters, amongst them local MP and then Secretary of State for Scotland, Douglas Alexander. Between 2008 and 2010, UWS opened offices in Glasgow with a focus on the creative industries. The School of Business and Creative Industries has offices in Film City Glasgow and the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA). This forms a metropolitan base for research, performance, events and exhibitions, work with industry, and knowledge exchange activities, connecting the university's four campuses with the city where the media and arts sector is most concentrated in the west of Scotland. The merged institution served over 18,000 students and remains the largest 'new university' in Scotland. The Principal and Vice-Chancellor is Craig Mahoney.The Students' Association of the University of the West of Scotland is officially the recognised student organisation across the university. The organisation exists to campaign on students' issues, to improve learning and teaching at UWS, to offer advice and support to students, to organise events and activities, and to enable societies across all campuses. The majority of the Student Groups and Societies are available to Scottish-based UWS campuses and are run by students for students. These include religious, political and social societies as well as course-based groups. There are also a collection of liberation groups and peer support groups, which exist to counter under-represented and oppressed sections of the student body. SAUWS operates Union bars at their Paisley and Ayr locations, where they host various events and activities including quiz nights and karaoke. In 2016 SAUWS won the NUS Scotland award "Higher Education Student Association of the Year". This was awarded due to the organisations work and campaigns such as Keep UWS in Hamilton, the Summer Safety Net campaign, and its work developing services for students. SAUWS was awarded "University Students' Association of the Year" by NUS Scotland once again in 2020.
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UWS is excited to announce that it has been successful in its latest application to the UK student mobility ‘Turing Scheme’, securing 100 percent of the requested funding.Read more →
UWS Sport and Team UWS are delighted to confirm that a total of 12 UWS students, alumni and staff will be attending the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games later this month, to represent Team Scotland.Read more →
Leading UK innovation figures gathered at University of the West of Scotland (UWS) to further develop links between academia and industry.Read more →
Ninety percent of research at University of the West of Scotland is world-leading, internationally excellent, or recognised internationally, according to a national assessment.Read more →
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