About this Site

The University of Glasgow's International Story showcases our rich heritage of pioneering international students and staff.

The creation of the University of Glasgow's International Story was funded by the Chancellor's Fund in March 2012. We are continuing to build this authoritative resource to celebrate the diversity of people that have shaped our University since foundation in 1451.

It is recognised that many of the stories remain untold, some incomplete. Some are difficult to tell but are nonetheless important to understanding our past.

Glasgow was one of Britain's leading centres of colonial trade, meaning that large amounts of slave-produced commodities such as tobacco, sugar, cotton and rum came into the city. First the 'Tobacco Lords' and then the 'West India merchants' were wealthy and powerful elites in and around Glasgow. While not all owned enslaved people and plantations, some did, and in both cases much of their wealth derived from slave labour.

The Senior Management Group (SMG) of the University of Glasgow issued a statement in July 2016 acknowledging that although the University was active in the movement to abolish the slave trade and slavery, the University also received gifts and bequests from persons who may have benefited from the proceeds of slavery. On the authorisation of SMG a research team is evaluating the nature and extent of the University's connections with people who profited from slavery. At the same time, a steering committee is preparing a report for SMG so that it can consider measures designed to address and redress this aspect of history. As a first step, in 2017 the University of Glasgow became the first British University to join the international consortium of Universities Studying Slavery.

We welcome any comments and contributions of photographs and information. Queries about any aspect of the University's history are always welcome.