University of Dundee

The Tower, University of Dundee
©2023 Gazetteer for Scotland

The Tower, University of Dundee

Located in west-central Dundee on the Perth Road, Dundee became an independent university in 1967 after 70 years as a college of the University of St Andrews. Created in 1881 as the University College, Dundee, it was founded by the Baxter jute barons with what was then a radical mission of pioneering the education of men and women together. In 1954, it was renamed Queen's College and began to gain a degree of independence.

The University merged with the neighbouring Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 1994 and, in 1996, absorbed the two local nursing colleges to create a single School of Nursing and Midwifery. Clinical medicine is taught on a separate campus at Ninewells Teaching Hospital and Medical School, 3 miles (5 km) to the West. Some nursing and midwifery students are based on a satellite campus at Kirkcaldy. In 2001, the University took over the Dundee campus of the Northern College to create a Faculty of Education & Social Work. Northern College had itself formed as a merger of the former Dundee College of Education and Aberdeen College of Education in 1987. Dundee College of Education had been founded as Dundee Training College in 1906. Scotland's only satellite ground station was operated from the university between the 1960s and 2019 when funding was withdrawn. Its receiving dishes became a landmark on the tower building and data was supplied to scientists around the world. This now operates as a private company from Errol Airfield.

Today, the University of Dundee has approximately 16,000 students distributed across five faculties: Medicine and Dentistry, Science and Engineering, Law, Arts and Social Sciences and the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. The University is known for its teaching of medicine, biology, biochemistry, education, art and design, planning, psychology and English.

Father of town planning Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 - 1932) was Professor of Botany at Dundee. Noted alumni include the inventor of radar, Sir Robert Watson-Watt (1892 - 1973), fashion photographer Albert Watson (b.1942), former Secretary General of NATO George Robertson (b.1946) and UK government minister Brian Wilson (b.1948). Its Rectors have included actor Peter Ustinov (1968-74), broadcaster and politician Clement Freud (1974-80), politicians Gordon Wilson (1983-86) and Malcolm Bruce (1986-89), actor and comedian Stephen Fry (1992-98), broadcasters Fred MacAulay (2001-04) and Lorraine Kelly (2004-07), actor Brian Cox (2010-16) and cyclist Mark Beaumont (2016-19).

The University has an extensive art collection, used by students, displayed around the campus and publicly-accessible though exhibitions at the Lamb Gallery.

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