The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the second largest in Scotland with 24,200 full-time students, 5800 staff and an annual income of £420 million (2009). Its major part forms a compact campus at Gilmorehill, on the banks of the River Kelvin, in the West End of Glasgow. In addition, there is a separate Veterinary Faculty 4 miles (6 km) away at Garscube, an Education Faculty at Bearsden and a recently-acquired small campus on the former Crichton Estate 62 miles (100 km) to the south in Dumfries.
Founded in 1451, when King James II persuaded Pope Nicholas V to grant a bull authorising Bishop Turnbull of Glasgow to create a University around his cathedral, here the University remained until the 17th Century when it moved to the High Street. The University relocated once again in 1871, moving to its current site at Gilmorehill. The immense main building was designed in the Gothic style by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78) and has become one of the city's best known landmarks. Other notable buildings at Gilmorehill include the circular MacMillan Reading Room (1939), the University Library (1968), Hunterian Museum & Kelvin Art Gallery (1972) and the Boyd-Orr Building (1972).
The University gave land to the west of its Gilmorehill Campus in 1878 to site the Western Infirmary but is in the process of regaining the site as that hospital moves towards closure in 2015.
The University provides teaching and research in 8 faculties; Arts, Divinity, Law and Financial Studies; Social Sciences; Medicine (including Dentistry and Nursing); Engineering; Science and Veterinary Medicine and has more students in science-based courses than any other in the UK outside London. The Medical School is the largest in Europe. The University also houses UK and international research centres for Computer-based engineering Design, Human Communication and Computer-based Information Transfer, Parasitology and Virus Research, Heart disease and Cancer. The University is also a centre for research in Housing Policy and Economics, Employment and Business History.
The University has one of the oldest, most extensive and valuable libraries in the UK.