Principal's introduction

I am delighted to share with you our vision for the next five years of our journey as world changers together.

This strategy is the result of extensive consultation amongst our community, starting in the winter of 2018-19, a time in which the world looked very different. Much has changed in a year, and much will continue to change in ways that we cannot fully predict over the period of this plan. We know that on the domestic stage we will have to adapt, not only to the impact of a pandemic, but also to the consequences of our country’s changing relationship with the rest of Europe. Globally, we will have to use the collective strengths of our disciplines to build coalitions, collaborations and partnerships to tackle the major societal challenges brought by increasing inequality, future threats to human health, the rise of technology and automation, and the existential threat of climate change.

thumbnail showing Principal

Our vision is of a University characterised by the closeness of its community, the strength of its connections and the incredible potential unleashed by its collaborative spirit. Our response to the pandemic has shown that our University is more than a motto or a crest or even a tower on a hill: it is exceptional people brought together by a shared purpose, shared values and the desire to make a difference.

Together we have met the adversity of recent months with extraordinary dedication, courage and ingenuity, using our collective and diverse skills to support our civic partners and the wider Glasgow community in dealing with the resultant economic and social impacts. Over the next five years, we will build on these strengths and draw on the power of collaboration to make our University synonymous with discoveries, innovations and leadership of global importance, building:

  • an outstanding student experience that reflects our diverse and internationalised community
  • a world-class learning environment infused with interdisciplinary learning opportunities
  • a world-leading research culture in which people and careers will thrive
  • a resolutely international, innovative and partnership-led approach to changing our world for the better.

The University of Glasgow has left permanent footprints along the trail of history; it is the birthplace of modern economics, the crucible of the scientific and industrial revolution, and the wellspring of pioneers in the struggle for human rights and social justice. But more importantly, it is the home of the world changers of today and tomorrow - and I look forward to us walking the path ahead together.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

The coming strategic period must leave our University better positioned for the challenges of the five years after. Over the past two years, we have consulted extensively with our community and our partners to understand the expected drivers of global change within our sector and our society over the next decade, preparing our path to 2030 and beyond.
Our strategy responds to four major challenges facing higher education and wider society.

Our strategy: world changers together

As individuals we can achieve the incredible: together we can change the world

Our journey 2010-2020

Over the past 10 years we have ...

Expanded and internationalised our community:Increased our student population by 29%: We’ve graduated more than 8,000 students from economically deprived backgrounds: Our academic population has grown by 35%: In 2010, 118 of the world’s countries were represented by our community: today, it is 147 of 195 countries

We’ve built major new facilities for cancer and virus research, the training of doctors and vets, and the storage and conservation of our archives and collections: We’ve started a £1bn programme of investment in the development of our campus, including the construction of our flagship ‘Hub’ buildings: the James McCune Smith Learning and Teaching Hub, and the Research Hub


We’ve more than doubled our research income to £195m: We’re grown our overseas teaching to more than 2,500 Glasgow students every year through our operations in Tianjin and Chengdu Research Hub

We’ve won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize twice, recognising the excellence, innovation and public benefit inherent in key examples of our world- leading work: We’ve made major contributions to global academic endeavours – such as the century-long search for confirmation of Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves.