By Study UK

16 March 2021 - 10:00

University of Glasgow, Scotland.

With the second biggest student population in the UK, you’ll be in good company in Glasgow. Voted the world’s friendliest city in a 2021 Rough Guides survey, it’s home to a thriving cultural scene and a wealth of green spaces. Its leafy streets are lined with historic buildings and decorated with colourful street art, making the city as vibrant as the people who live there. 

Read on to find out more about what makes Glasgow such a fantastic place to be a student.

A choice of renowned and well-respected universities

Students can choose from the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University and Glasgow School of Art, which all cater to a range of passions, interests and career paths. When it comes to places to study, there’s something for everyone in Glasgow. 

The University of Glasgow is one of the top 100 universities in the world and is known for its historic buildings, which are said to have inspired the Harry Potter school, Hogwarts.

Winner of the UK University of the Year Award in 2019, the University of Strathclyde has a five-star QS ranking — which speaks to academic excellence and student employability. It also has some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in Scotland.

Glasgow Caledonian University has a high-tech campus and its focus on careers means 95 per cent of graduates are in employment or higher education within six months of leaving. Its international student support is award-winning, so you can rest assured you’ll be looked after. 

With Art Nouveau buildings designed by artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Glasgow School of Art is a home for creatives, offering study programmes across a variety of disciplines and a welcoming, community feel. 

As well as the universities’ own state-of-the-art learning facilities, Glasgow offers plenty of study spots. Try the Mitchell Library, the library at the Gallery of Modern Art, or one of the city’s many cosy cafes. 

It’s a place where students feel at home

Glasgow has been rated one of the top 50 cities in the world for students and it’s not hard to see why. It’s known for being warm and welcoming, and is home to 185,000 students from 140 different countries, which speaks for itself. 

With 90 parks and gardens, cities don’t get much greener than Glasgow, whose name translates to ‘dear green place’ in Gaelic. You can take a riverside stroll in the extensive grounds of Kelvingrove Park or soak up the flora and fauna of the Botanic Gardens

Once you’ve got to grips with the inner-city green spaces, some of the UK’s most spectacular countryside is close by. Glasgow is located in the Clyde Valley and is surrounded by several country parks, perfect for hiking and bike rides. It’s also less than an hour’s train ride from Loch Lomond, known for its exceptional scenery.

Thanks to the metro and bus service, exploring the city is easy and you’ll feel like a local in no time. Plus, students in Glasgow are well-placed to discover more of Scotland, with the capital city, Edinburgh, just a train ride away and the Scottish Highlands and Islands practically on its doorstep. With an airport and several train stations in the city, adventures further afield in the UK and Europe also await.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery ©

Visit Britain Glasgow Museum

Riverside Museum ©

Visit Britain Craig Easton

The city centre is convenient for shopping and socialising

From big high street names on Buchanan Street, to the designer boutiques of Princes Square and the record and vintage stores of Finnieston, there are few better places to shop in the UK. 

The food scene is equally lively, with restaurants in Merchant City and the West End offering a taste of Scottish produce and cuisines from around the world. There’s cafes, delis and food markets across the city — try Platform for street food and live music under the arches of Glasgow Central Station. 

Glasgow’s nightlife scene is totally unique, with vibrant pubs and bars and clubbing highlights including the Corinthian Club — located in the city’s former High Court building, and Sub Club — home of one of the longest running house nights in the world.

There are art galleries, museums and live music venues everywhere you look

Glasgow is home to an impressive array of galleries and museums known for their stand-out exhibitions and awe-inspiring architecture. Whether it’s the historic spires of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the striking zigzag structure of the Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Transport Museum, or the the cool silver curves of the Science Museum — there are endless sources of inspiration all over the city. What’s more, most are completely free to visit.

It’s also a live music hub, with artists like The Weeknd, Harry Styles and Dua Lipa performing at the SSE Hydro. Meanwhile, up-and-coming artists are waiting to be discovered at venues like Barrowlands Ballroom and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where the band Oasis were first signed. 

Glasgow's sports facilities are state of the art

Having hosted the Commonwealth Games and some of the Euro 2020 matches, Glasgow is a city for sports fans. And thanks to each university’s outstanding sports facilities and clubs, getting stuck into your favourite sport is easy, whether it’s a trip to the gym, taekwondo class, or a rowing session on the River Clyde. 

Please note: the venues and places of interest discussed in this blog may be closed while Covid-19 restrictions are in place. 

Discover more about student life in the UK below.