University of dundee history

By | 22nd May 2017

University of dundee history

University of Dundee crest

The University of Dundee (abbreviated as Dund. for post-nominals) is a public research university based in the city and Royal burgh of Dundee on the east coast of the central Lowlands of Scotland. Founded in 1881 the institution was, for most of its early existence, a constituent college of the University of St Andrews alongside United College and St Mary’s College located in the town of St Andrews itself. Following significant expansion, the University of Dundee became an independent body in 1967 whilst retaining much of its ancient heritage and governance structure. Since its independence, the university has grown to become an internationally recognised centre for research.

University of dundee history

The main campus of the university is located in Dundee’s West End which contains many of the university’s teaching and research facilities; the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee Law School and the Dundee Dental Hospital and School. The university has additional facilities at Ninewells Hospital – containing its School of Medicine, Perth Royal Infirmary – which houses a clinical research centre, and in Kirkcaldy, Fife – containing part of its school of Nursing and Midwifery.

It is ranked within the top 250 universities in the world and within the top 30 in the UK by national university rankings.

University of dundee history

History

Foundation

Ellenbank: the former Students’ Union and one of the longest-used buildings of the university.

The University of Dundee has its roots in the earlier University college based in Dundee and the University of St Andrews. During the 19th century, the growing population of Dundee significantly increased demand for the establishment of an institution of higher education in the city and several organisations were established to promote this end, including a University Club in the city. There was a significant movement with the intention of moving the entire university to Dundee (which the Royal Commission observed was now a “large and increasing town”) or the establishment of a college along very similar lines to the present United College. Finally, agreement was reached that what was needed was expansion of the sciences and professions, rather than the arts at St Andrews.[citation needed]

In the early 1870s, construction began on the North British Railway’s Tay Bridge which cut journey times between Dundee and St Andrews enormously and allowed for a third option between the status quo and complete movement: the creation of what was foreseen as a “University of Dundee and St Andrews”, situated between two campuses, each with their own particular specialities.[citation needed]

A donation of £120,000 for the creation of an institution of higher education in Dundee was made by Miss Mary Ann Baxter of Balgavies, a notable lady of the city and heir to the fortune of William Baxter of Balgavies. In this endeavour, she was assisted by her relative, Dr John Boyd Baxter, an alumnus of St Andrews and Procurator Fiscal of Forfarshire who also contributed nearly £20,000. In order to craft the institution and its principles, it was to be established first as an independent university college, with a view from its very inception towards incorporation into the University of St Andrews.[citation needed]

University of dundee history

In 1881, the ideals of the proposed new college were laid down, suggesting the establishment of an institute for “promoting the education of persons of both sexes and the study of Science, Literature and the Fine Arts”.No religious oaths were to be required of members. Later that year, “University College, Dundee” was established as an academic institution and the first principal, William Peterson, was elected in late 1882. When opened in 1883, it comprised five faculties: Maths and Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Engineering and Drawing, English Language and Literature and Modern History, and Philosophy. The University College had no power to award degrees and for some years students were prepared for external examinations of the University of London.

The policy of no discrimination between the sexes, which was insisted upon by Mary Ann Baxter, meant that the new college recruited several able female students. Their number included the social reformer Mary Lily Walker and, later, Margaret Fairlie who in 1940 became Scotland’s first female professor.