In 1898, John Arne Henricson enrolled at the University, making him the first Finnish student. At the time Finland was still known as the Grand Duchy of Finland, part of the Russian Empire.

Another of the earliest students was Hans Henrick Sebastian Gripenberg, a student of Naval Architecture in 1904-1905, who came from a prestigious family in Finland. His father was Sebastian Gripenberg, an architect and senator; and his aunt, Alexandra Gripenberg, was a writer, politician and the founder of Finland’s first official Women’s Rights organization in 1884. After finishing his course at the University, Gripenberg returned to Finland where he became a prominent figure in the ship building industry, as well as a lecturer at Turku School of Industry. The University maintains today its educational links with Turku.

Between the years of 1898 and 1937 we registered a total of five Finns studying at the University, the majority of them from coastal cities, such as Helsinki and Turku. These students mainly studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering under Sir John Harvard Biles and Percy Archibald Hillhouse, at a time when Glasgow was one of the most innovative places in the world to study ship building.