Jean Forbes Northern Ireland

Biography of Jean Forbes

Jean Forbes
Jean Forbes

Jean Forbes was born on 21 August 1935 in Belfast. She was educated at Belfast Royal Academy and then at Queens University where she took a first class honours degree in Geography, Jean completed a Master’s Degree in Geography at University of Wisconsin (1958). She then worked as a research assistant in the Queens University Geography Department before moving to work for two years in the Belfast office of the planning consultants Robert Matthew and Johnson Marshall.

In 1962 Forbes was appointed as lecturer in the Geography Department of the University of Glasgow. In 1969 she joined the new Department of Town and Regional Planning in Glasgow University, led by Professor Sir Robert Grieve and created specifically to provide a new type of planning education for Scotland. She was promoted to senior lecturer in 1974 and was acting head of the department from 1986-87. In addition to her work in Glasgow, Forbes also took up visiting Fellowships at the Universities of Lund (Sweden) and New South Wales (Australia).

After 25 years at the University of Glasgow, she then moved to the Centre for Planning in Strathclyde University where she help to devised a new degree of Master of Environmental Studies. This led to her appointment as Founder and first Director of Strathclyde University’s Graduate School of Environmental Studies, a post she held until 1996. She was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1993.



  • Additional information provided by Douglas McCallum and Laurie Hunter


Jean Forbes
Born 21 August 1935.
Died 27 August 2011.
GU Degree: MEd, 1988; Adult and Community Education ,
University Link: Lecturer
Occupation categories: geographers; lecturers
Record last updated: 11th Jul 2017

Country Associations

Northern Ireland Northern Ireland, No Region
Place of Birth

University Connections

University Roles

  • Lecturer