University of Stirling
|Motto||Innovation and Excellence|
|Chairman of the Court||Fiona Sandford |
|Location||Stirling, Scotland, UK|
|Affiliations||Association of Commonwealth Universities|
The University of Stirling is a UK research intensive campus university founded by Royal charter in 1967 in Stirling, Scotland. It is ranked among the top 50 universities in the world, which are under 50 years old by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the most recent assessment of research in the UK, Research Excellence Framework, it was ranked 5th in Scotland for research and 40th in the UK. Its students come from more than 100 countries and it offers degree courses overseas in Singapore and Vietnam. Stirling was the only completely new institution of its kind established in Scotland since the University of Edinburgh was founded in 1582.
- 1 History and campus development
- 2 Organisation
- 3 Governance
- 4 Student life
- 5 Reputation and rankings
- 6 Notable academics and alumni
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History and campus development
The original site of the campus was selected from a shortlist of competing sites that also included Dumfries, Inverness, Ayr, Falkirk, Perth and Cumbernauld. The report's author, Lord Robbins, was later appointed the University's first Chancellor in 1968.
The main campus is situated around 2 miles (3.2 km) from the centre of Stirling, close to the town of Bridge of Allan. It was formerly the estate of the Robert Adam-designed Airthrey Castle, which the University has retained and incorporated into the campus as teaching facilities and offices. It is regularly described as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, and nestles at the foot of Abbey Craig and the Ochil Hills in 300 acres (1.2 km2) of grounds centred around the 18th century man-made Airthrey Loch.
In 2002, the University of Stirling and the landscape of the Airthrey Estate was designated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites as one of the top 20 heritage sites of the 20th century within the UK.
The campus was originally designed by the Scottish architectural practice Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall in a low-rise, highly functional, modern style, envisaged to integrate with the contours of the surrounding landscape.
When the University first received its Royal Charter on 13 November 1967, there were 164 undergraduate and 31 postgraduate students. By 2007 the university had produced around 45,000 graduates. The University of Stirling however has a relatively small student population, ranking 87th in the UK. 92.2% of undergraduates currently enter from state schools or further education.
The principal administrative and teaching facilities were originally housed in the Pathfoot Building, which was completed in 1968 and subsequently saw several extensions over the years, including a Tropical Aquarium in 1979 and a Virology unit in 1987. In 1993 the Pathfoot Building was selected by the international conservation organisation DoCoMoMo as one of sixty key Scottish monuments of the post-war era. It was also voted as one of Prospect's 100 best modern Scottish buildings. A house for the University Principal was also completed in 1967. Designed by the architects Morris and Steedman, it was listed at category A in 2009. Pathfoot was later complemented by the Cottrell Building, which began development in 1970 and houses numerous lecture theatres, departmental offices, classrooms and computer labs. The Cottrell Building was further enhanced with the completion of the Courtroom extension in 1998 and in 2008/09 the entire building underwent a façade recladding project.
The University Library and Andrew Miller Building were completed in 1971. The Library holds over 500,000 volumes, over 9,000 journals and reopened in August 2010 after a major refurbishment programme. The Andrew Miller Building incorporates an Atrium, which has several retail and food outlets, including a bookstore, bank and general store. The Atrium also acts as the principal hub for most day-to-day campus activities, due to its central location, linking together the Library and Robbins' Centre Students Union, as well as connecting bridges to both the Cottrell Building and on-campus student residences. The University's first Principal, Tom Cottrell, believed that art should be part of the everyday cultural experience at the University, and his inspiration led to the establishment of the MacRobert Arts Centre, which is a small theatre and cinema complex, located adjacent to the Andrew Miller Building. The Centre is open both to members of the University community and to the general public. Stirling has also developed a considerable fine art collection since 1967, comprising over 300 works including; paintings, tapestries and sculpture.
A visit by Queen Elizabeth II  to the site in 1972 caused considerable controversy; student protests against the Queen's visit were vociferous and, in some cases, fuelled by alcohol, and the disturbances were widely condemned in the press and the local community, where students were refused access to buses and other facilities for a time.
As the University has continued to expand since its inception, further development has taken place including; the world-renowned Institute of Aquaculture opened by Princess Diana in 1982, the R.G. Bomont Building, which was completed in 1998, and houses the School of Health Science, the Iris Murdoch building, opened in 2002 for The Dementia Services Development Centre, and the Colin Bell Building, completed in 2003 for the School of Applied Social Science.
In 2006, the University catered for nearly 9,000 students, around a third of whom live on-campus. There were originally several student Halls of Residence located on-campus, which included; Andrew Stewart Hall, A.K. Davidson Hall, Murray Hall and Geddes Court however, only Andrew Stewart Hall will remain operation as of May 2015, with A.K. Davidson Hall and Murray hall being replaced by Juniper Court and Beech Court respectively. There are also other student residence buildings consisting of flats on campus including Willow Court, Fraser of Allander House, HH Donnelly House, Muirhead House, Polwarth House and Alexander Court. There are also other residential buildings located off-campus, within Stirling city centre, including; Union Street and John Forty's Court. Students of over 100 nationalities are represented at the university, with over 20 per cent of students coming from overseas.
The University has developed major industrial research links, with a large science park – Stirling University Innovation Park, located immediately adjacent to the main university campus. Innovation Park has grown since its initiation in 1993, and is now home to 40 companies engaging in various forms of research and development.
The university also owns a highly successful International Conference Centre, Stirling Court Hotel, which is located on campus, and is a purpose built conference and management training centre and the first Conference Centre of Excellence in Scotland. The University admits in its own published estates strategy that the sale of part of its campus to the Wang Laboratories computer manufacturer in the 1980s was a serious mistake. The sale was linked to the adoption by the University of Wang's computing system which was incompatible with other systems and eventually replaced. The site went through various owners and is now a food processing facility.
Stirling was designated as Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence by the Scottish Government in 2008. The University has a comprehensive range of sports facilities and is one of only sixteen universities in the UK with 5-star sports facilities. The University has its own 9-hole golf course and driving range, and a host of other sporting facilities are located in and around the campus.
The Gannochy National Tennis Centre on the University campus is recognised as a national centre of excellence, and the campus also has an indoor 50-metre swimming pool, badminton and squash courts, a fitness centre, strength and conditioning centre, sports halls and all-weather playing fields available for student, staff and public use.
The campus has been selected as the headquarters for a number of sports agencies including the sportscotland institute of sport, Commonwealth Games Scotland, Scottish Swimming and triathlonscotland. A new 50-metre swimming pool was completed in 2001 as part of the Scottish National Swimming Academy.
Falkirk FC opened a football academy on campus in 2008, and the Scottish Women's National Football Academy opened in 2009.
Scholarships are available in five core sports: football, golf, swimming, tennis and triathlon, which allow student athletes to prepare for international competition.
Stirling University Rugby Football Club (SURFC) is a Rugby union club based at The University of Stirling. The Stirling Clansmen American Football team has brought several National championships to the school after a successful program was built by student, Russ Nehmer. The football team is one of the most successful programs in the UK since 1998. Stirling University Boat Club (SUBC) is the rowing club based at the University.
The Highland and Western Isles campuses
As well as the main campus in Stirling, the University also has campuses in Inverness and Stornoway which specialise in Nursing and Midwifery. The Highland site is on the outskirts of Inverness and within the grounds of Raigmore Hospital. The site has purpose-built teaching facilities and student accommodation, recently benefiting from its relocation to the new Centre for Health Science, officially opened in January 2007.
The Highland Health Sciences Library is also on this campus, and caters for both the students and staff of the University as well as the employees of NHS Highland and its associated Trusts.
The Western Isles campus is located in Stornoway and the teaching accommodation is an integral part of the recently built Western Isles Hospital. This is a small campus site which also has student accommodation within the environs of the Western Isles Hospital.
The university reorganised academically in January 2011 to 7 schools, incorporating 15 old departments. It has since added a Graduate School taking the number of Schools to 8:
- School of Applied Social Science
- School of Arts and Humanities
- Department of English Studies
- Department of Philosophy
- Department of Film, Media & Journalism
- School of History & Politics
- School of Languages, Cultures and Religions
- School of Law
- School of Education
- Stirling Management School
- Accounting & Finance Division
- Business & Organisation Division
- Economics Division
- Marketing Division
- School of Natural Sciences
- Institute of Aquaculture
- School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
- Department of Psychology
- Department of Computing Science & Mathematics
- School of Health Sciences
- School of Sport
- Stirling Graduate School
School of Applied Social Science
The school consists of four departments: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology, Social Work, Housing, and Dementia
In 2013, the school nominated Dame Judi Dench for an honorary doctorate in recognition of her services to the arts and the role she has played in highlighting the school's Dementia Services Development Centre.
School of Natural Sciences
The School has several accolades. The Institute of Aquaculture is the top rated aquaculture department in the United Kingdom and the Computing Science department was ranked second in Scotland and tenth in the United Kingdom by the Guardian newspaper in 2012.
Since its inception, Stirling has offered modular degree programmes allowing greater flexibility and choice. Stirling was the first United Kingdom university to introduce the system of two semesters rather than having three terms. The first semester lasts from mid-September to mid-December and the second from the beginning of January to the end of May.
There are now over 256 courses (including combination courses) at the undergraduate degree level. A wide variety of courses are also available at the postgraduate level.
Excellent teaching ratings for politics, accounting, finance, economics, sociology, religious studies, business studies, psychology and English language demonstrate Stirling's expertise in the arts and social sciences. Among the natural sciences, environmental science also achieved high ratings, its success reflected in the recently completed School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, with substantially refurbished facilities for both teaching and research. All but one of the subjects assessed for teaching quality were rated at least "highly satisfactory" and was ranked in the top ten in the UK for Teaching Assessment by The Times Higher Education Supplement.
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Among Stirling University's specialist research centres are: the Cancer Care Research Centre; Scottish Network for Economic Methodology; Institute of Aquaculture; Centre for European Neighbourhood Studies; Centre for Environmental History and Policy; Stirling Media Research Institute; Social Work Research Centre; Centre for Social Research on Dementia; Scottish Addiction Studies; Scottish Network for Chronic Pain Research Centre; Scottish Centre for Information on Language, Teaching and Research; Centre for Lifelong Learning; and Institute for Retail Studies. The IRS publishes The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 10 per cent of Stirling research was judged to be 'world leading' and a further three-quarters as 'internationally excellent' and 'internationally recognised'. The University was rated first in Scotland for Nursing and Midwifery; Education; Sports Studies; Communication, Cultural and Media Studies.
The University of Stirling's research publications database, STORRE, is a source of free, full-text access to the University's research outputs. STORRE holds a collection of research publications produced by University of Stirling authors and includes: journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and working papers. STORRE also holds all the University’s research theses in full-text from September 2006 onwards (PhDs and Masters by Research) plus a collection of selected older theses.
Unlike the Ancient universities of Scotland, Stirling University's constitution is laid out in its Royal Charter, rather than the Universities (Scotland) Acts. The administrative structure is however broadly similar, with the University Court (governing and financial body) and the Academic Council (academic affairs) based upon the ancient model. The University's constitution, academic regulations, and appointments are comprehensively outlined in the University calendar. In 2009 the University reviewed its Charter and Statutes to amend the procedures for discipline of academic staff.
The governing body of the University is the University Court. It has overall responsibility for the management of the University's resources, the ongoing strategic direction of the University and the approval of major developments. It also receives regular reports from Executive Officers on the day-to-day operation of the University's business. The Court meets four times over the course of the academic year. Stirling's University Court has a number of well known members including James Naughtie and Alistair Moffat.
Academic Council is the body which is responsible for the management of academic affairs, awarding of all degrees, and for the regulation and superintendence of the education, discipline and welfare of the students of the University. While the Court has the final responsibility for governing the University, on academic matters it will normally only act on the recommendation of Academic Council. The Council consists of various academics and is chaired by the Principal of the university.
Committees and Executive Officers
There are also a number of committees supporting both the Court and Academic Council, that make important decisions and investigate matters referred to them. Day-to-day management of the University is undertaken by the University Principal (who is also Vice-Chancellor).
The role of Chancellor itself is largely honorific, the current Chancellor is James Naughtie. The current principal is Gerry McCormac, and the current chairman of court is local businessman Alan Simpson. There are also several Deputy Principals, each with a specific remit. They play a major role in the day-to-day management of the university.
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The students of the University are represented by University of Stirling Students' Union which was named "Best Students' Union in Scotland" by the Bar Entertainment and Dance Association in 2003. It is based on-campus in the Robbins Centre Students' Union. It is primarily responsible for providing entertainment, welfare and information services to students and also representing students interests to organisations including the University itself, which includes senior members being entitled to seats on the University Court. On its premises in the Robbins Centre it runs a variety of outlets including: Studio and Underground. The Union is affiliated to the National Union of Students.
The Union supports a wide range of clubs and societies, with over 40 in total ranging from the Rock Society to Dance@SU. The Sports Union also supports some 40 sports clubs ranging from athletics to water polo via octopush, American Football and fencing.
Stirling University also has student-run media services. Brig has been the campus newspaper since 1969. Air3 Radio, was the first campus radio station in Scotland (previously URA – University Radio Airthrey – now Air3 Radio), and AirTV (formerly Videoworks) is a television station for students, set up in 2002.
It also plays host to the largest student Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament group in the country.
Reputation and rankings
The Sunday Times University Guide 2014 placed the university 51st in a list of 121 UK universities.
The university was ranked among the Top 10 Universities in the Times Higher Education Supplement Award for the UK's Best Student Experience 2006
In The Times Good University Guide (June 2006), Accounting and Finance was listed as one of the Top 20 university departments in the UK for Accounting and Finance – one of only four Scottish departments to make the Top 20
Stirling was named Scottish University of the Year 2009 by Sunday Times
Notable academics and alumni
- Thomas Leadbetter Cottrell FRSE, chemist, first Principal of the University
- David Bebbington, Professor of History
- David Blanchflower, Professor of Economics, former Monetary Policy Committee Member
- Norman Jeffares, Emeritus Professor of English
- Norman Longworth, honorary Professor of Lifelong Learning
- Norman MacCaig, reader in poetry
- Ivana Markova, Emeritus Professor of Psychology
- Jean Redpath, (honorary staff) folk singer
- Steward Sutherland, former lecturer, later Baron Sutherland of Houndwood
- Herbert Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Physics
- Greg McHugh, actor, writer
- Iain Banks, author
- Alan Bissett, writer
- Jonathan Clements, author
- Jackie Kay, poet and writer
- Nick Keir, musician
- Fiona Ritchie, radio presenter
- Mark Cousins, film critic
- Grace Dent, reporter, author and television critic
- Ally McCrae, radio presenter
- Jack McConnell, former First Minister of Scotland
- Michael Connarty, former MP for Falkirk East
- John Reid, MP, former Home Secretary
- Tommy Sheridan, Leader of Solidarity, former MSP
- Eric Joyce, former Labour MP for Falkirk
- Gordon Banks, former Labour MP
- Bill Butler, former Labour MSP
- Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP
- Scott Barrie, former Labour MSP
- Scott Farmer, SNP Councillor
- Richard Lochhead, SNP MSP
- Kenneth Gibson, SNP MSP
- Shirley-Anne Somerville, SNP MSP
- Paul Grice, Clerk and chief executive, Scottish Parliament
- Steven Paterson, SNP MP for Stirling
- Neil Gray, SNP MP for Airdrie and Shotts
- Gordon Sherry, professional golfer
- Colin Fleming, professional tennis player, winner of a Mixed Doubles gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
- Richie Ramsay, professional golfer, winner of the 2006 U.S. Amateur
- Sir Bill Gammell, Scotland rugby international and businessman
- Angela Mudge, former world champion hill runner
- Catriona Matthew, professional golfer, winner of the 2009 British Women's Open
- Frankie Brown, female Scottish footballer
- Andrew Hunter, Olympic and Commonwealth swimmer
- Todd Cooper, Olympic swimmer
- Catriona Morrison, triathlete and winner of the 2010 World Duathlon
- Ross Murdoch, Commonwealth Swimmer, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion (200m Breaststroke) and Bronze medalist (100m Breaststroke)
- Sir Alex Ferguson, Former manager of Manchester United
- Craig Benson (swimmer), Olympic Swimmer
- Chris Lilley, W3C internet architect
- Neil Brailsford QC, Senator of the College of Justice
- Derek Lambie, Journalist, Editor Scottish Sunday Express
- Paul Lewis, Presenter, BBC Radio 4 Money Box
- Julian Roberts, chief executive of Old Mutual plc
- Neil Davidson, QC, Solicitor General for Scotland 2000–01, Advocate General for Scotland 2006–2010. Created a Life Peer, March 2006: Baron Davidson of Glen Clova
- Muffy Calder, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to University of Stirling.|
- University of Stirling official website
- University of Stirling Students' Union website
- STORRE: Stirling Online Research Repository