Glasgow Caledonian University is Scotland's fourth largest university in terms of student numbers and is based in on a single campus in Glasgow's Cowcaddens area, immediately to the north of the city centre and still within the sweep of the M8 motorway that passes through this part of the city. Areas of particular academic strength include health, the environment, business studies and social justice. The university places great emphasis on enuring the widest possible access and it has established a track record of active engagement in the social and economic regeneration of Glasgow.
The university is structured around a series of schools: The School of Built and Natural Environment; Caledonian Business School; The School of Engineering and Computing; The School of Health and Social Care; The School of Life Sciences; The School of Law and Social Sciences; and The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Community Health.
At the centre of CGU's campus is the Saltire Centre, a £23m learning centre. This award-winning building was opened in January 2006 with the aim of integrating all learning and student services. It offers 1,800 study places and 600 computers. The centre also houses the university library, a learning café, and the students' support services. University accommodation is made available on a range of criteria including age and any special needs, plus distance of home form the campus.
The origins of Glasgow Caledonian University date back to the establishment of the Glasgow School of Cookery in 1875. In 1908 this merged with the West End School of Cookery to form the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science, known locally as "The Dough School". Over time this morphed further, becoming Queen's College by the early 1990s. Meanwhile, the Glasgow College of Technology opened in 1972, its name changing first to Glasgow College in 1987 and then to Glasgow Polytechnic in 1991.
In 1992, The Secretary of State for Scotland approved the merger of Glasgow Polytechnic and Queen's College to form Glasgow Caledonian University, which opened on 1 April 1993. The university originally organised itself around three faculties and operated from three campuses. Over the intervening years it has come to focus its activities on the Cowcaddens campus.