To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
Show all languages
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Ancient universities of Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The ancient universities of Scotland are medieval and renaissance universities which continue to exist in the present day. The majority of the ancient universities of the British Isles are located within Scotland, and have a number of distinctive features in common, being governed by a series of measures laid down in the Universities (Scotland) Acts 1858–1966. The Universities (Scotland) Act 1966 uses the term 'older universities' to refer to St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.[1] The same act provided for the independence from St Andrews of Dundee, which was then granted a similar form of governance under its royal charter.

In common with the other ancient universities of the United Kingdom, the Scottish ancients find themselves administered in a quite different fashion from these new universities (of which there are now fifteen in Scotland) and are granted a number of privileges as a result of their different status.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    6 365
    26 829
    4 021
    3 613
  • ✪ Rooted in Scotland, influencing the world
  • ✪ The origins of the Scots language - in Scots
  • ✪ The True Story of How the Scots Invented the Modern World & Everything In It (2002)
  • ✪ Professor Dauvit Broun: ‘Ireland and the beginnings of Scotland’. Trinity College, Dublin.
  • ✪ Who were the Greeks? - Ancient History undergraduate taster lecture




Following the creation of the ancient universities before the end of the 16th century, no other universities were formed in Scotland until the twentieth century. The first 'new university' of the era was the University of Strathclyde which received its royal charter in 1964, although it traces its origins back to the Andersonian Institute (also known at various times as Anderson's College and Anderson's University) founded in 1796.[2][3][4][5]


Most sources cite four ancient universities of Scotland which are, in order of foundation:

St Andrews

St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews
St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews

The University of St Andrews owed its origin to a society formed in 1410 by Laurence of Lindores, archdeacon Richard Cornwall, bishop William Stephenson and others. Bishop Henry Wardlaw (died 1440) issued a charter in 1411 and attracted the most learned men in Scotland as professors. In 1413 Avignon Pope Benedict XIII issued six bulls confirming the charter and constituting the society a university. University College Dundee (founded in 1891) was absorbed into St Andrews University (1897), subsequently becoming Queen's College (1954). The University of Dundee separated from the University of St Andrews in 1967.


The Main Building of the University of Glasgow, from Kelvingrove Park
The Main Building of the University of Glasgow, from Kelvingrove Park

The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 by a papal bull of Pope Nicholas V, at the request of King James II, giving Bishop William Turnbull permission to add the university to the city's cathedral.[6] Its founding came about as a result of King James II's wish that Scotland have two Universities, to equal Oxford and Cambridge of England.[citation needed]


King's College, Aberdeen
King's College, Aberdeen

No college is mentioned in the foundation bill, only a university and it was the "University of Aberdeen" by that name which was established in 1495. Subsequently, a single college, originally known as St. Mary of the Nativity, was established (it was founded by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, who drafted a request on behalf of King James IV to Pope Alexander VI which resulted in a papal bull being issued). Soon the entity came to be called King's College, after its royal founder James IV.

A separate university (Marischal College) was founded in 1593. In 1860, King's merged with Marischal College. While both institutions were universities and would be considered ancient, the Act of Parliament uniting the two specified that the date of the foundation of the new united university would be taken to be that of the older King's College.

Aberdeen was highly unusual at this time for having two universities in one city: as 20th-century University prospectuses observed, Aberdeen had the same number as existed in England at the time (the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge). In addition, a further university was set up to the north of Aberdeen in Fraserburgh from 1595, but was closed down about a decade later. A further institute that was established in 1750 under the wishes of Robert Gordon, a wealthy University of Aberdeen alumnus has since evolved into the modern Robert Gordon University.


The University of Edinburgh's Robert Adam-designed Old College, home of its Law School
The University of Edinburgh's Robert Adam-designed Old College, home of its Law School

The founding of the University is attributed to Bishop Robert Reid of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney, who left the funds on his death in 1558 that ultimately provided the University's endowment. The University was established by a Royal Charter granted by James VI in 1582. As the first University to be founded by Royal Charter at the urging of the "town council and burges of Edinburgh" some student groups at the other Scottish ancient universities denied Edinburgh was worthy of that title, stating the reasoning of "post reformation"[citation needed]. The Scottish Government considers it to be ancient.[7]


University of Dundee

The University of Dundee gained independent university status by Royal Charter in 1967, having previously been a college of the University of St Andrews. While not governed by the Universities (Scotland) Acts, the institution's Royal Charter provided for it to adopt the characteristics of ancient university governance such as the academic senate, awarding the undergraduate MA degree and electing a Rector.

As a consequence, some sources have grouped the University of Dundee among the ancient universities.[8][9][10] The label has also been used by the university itself.[11]

At the installation of the university's Rector in 2007, the Principal and Vice Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands addressed the issue, noting:[12]

The position of Rector is something that Dundee shares with only four other universities in Scotland - the so-called "Ancient Universities". For Dundee to be classed with the "ancients" - at a relatively youthful age of forty - feels a bit like finding someone getting up to offer you their seat on the bus when you feel that you are still a bit on the young side. But we accept this "ancient" tag, with grace, as a mark of our history and distinction and a reinforcement of the University's commitment to student representation at levels.

University of Aberdeen

Marischal College, a former ancient university now part of the University of Aberdeen.
Marischal College, a former ancient university now part of the University of Aberdeen.

Despite being held as an ancient university, the University of Aberdeen was only created in 1860. The university was formed by the amalgamation of two existing ancient universities within Aberdeen, which were:

The two universities, generally known simply as King's College and Marischal College, were united into the modern University of Aberdeen by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858. The Act of Parliament uniting the two universities specified that the date of the foundation of the new united university would be taken to be that of the older King's College, 1495. Another, short-lived, university existed in the Aberdeenshire town of Fraserburgh from 1595 to 1605.[13][14]

All of the ancient universities, with the exception of St Andrews, were both simultaneously universities and colleges, with both titles being used.[15][16] The University of St Andrews was, however, a traditional collegiate university with a number of colleges. Today, only two statutory colleges exist: United College and the much smaller St Mary's College for students of theology – a third non-statutory college, St Leonard's College was founded in 1972 using the name of an earlier institution as a formal grouping of postgraduate students. Queen's College in Dundee (incorporated into the university from an earlier institution in 1897) became an independent university, the University of Dundee, in 1967.

In modern times, former college names may refer to specific university buildings, such as the King's College and Marischal College buildings in Aberdeen, the Old College and New College at Edinburgh and the 'Old College' to refer to the former buildings of the University of Glasgow before its move in the 19th century to Gilmorehill.[17]

Undergraduate Master of Arts degree

The ancient universities are distinctive in offering the Magister Artium/Master of Arts (M.A.) as an undergraduate academic degree. This is sometimes known as the Scottish MA, though it is offered by fewer than a third of Scotland's Universities.

Universities (Scotland) Acts

The Universities (Scotland) Acts created a distinctive system of governance for the ancient universities in Scotland, the process beginning with the 1858 Act and ending with the 1966 Act. Despite not being founded until after the first in these series of Acts, the University of Dundee shares all the features contained therein.

As a result of these Acts, each of these universities is governed by a tripartite system of General Council, University Court, and Academic Senate.

The chief executive and chief academic is the University Principal who also holds the title of Vice-Chancellor as an honorific. The Chancellor is a titular non-resident head to each university and is elected for life by the respective General Council, although in actuality a good number of Chancellors resign before the end of their "term of office".

Each also has a Students' Representative Council (SRC) as required by statute, although at the University of Aberdeen this has recently been renamed, the Students' Association Council (the Students' Association having been the parent body of the SRC).[18]


Scottish students represent about 48 per cent of the undergraduate population at the four ancient universities,[19] over half of whom have been educated at independent schools in Scotland (26 per cent of the total student body) when such students make up just over 4 per cent of the total school-age population in Scotland.[20]

For the 2016-17 admissions cycle, Ancient universities were criticised for the number of clearing places they had for Scottish students. Edinburgh offered 130 courses to students from the rest of the UK, but only one to Scottish students. Similarly, Aberdeen only offered one course in clearing for Scottish students but 79 for the rest of the UK, while Glasgow offered 5 and 497 courses respectively. St Andrews did not participate in clearing and offered no courses to either Scottish students or students from the rest of the UK.[21]

See also


  1. ^ s.16
  2. ^ "About Strathclyde: Our location and heritage: History". University of Strathclyde. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  3. ^ "The 'Andersonian' – The First Technical College". 11 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ University of Glasgow – Who, Where and When Archived 27 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 22 April 2006
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Slezer's Scotland". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "University of Aberdeen Students' Association Constitution". Archived from the original on 8 April 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2007.
  19. ^ Havergal, Chris (8 July 2016). "Winning a university place getting harder for Scots, report shows". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  20. ^ Johnson, Simon (27 May 2016). "Poor Scots 'squeezed out of university by SNP cap on places'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  21. ^ Johnson, Simon (20 August 2016). "SNP under attack over free tuition cap as number of Scots missing out on university place almost doubles". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
This page was last edited on 20 December 2019, at 01:53
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.