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Head of Student Recruitment and International

About the GSA

In 1753 the Foulis Academy was established in Glasgow to deliver a European-style art education.  The UK’s first school of art, described as ‘the single most influential factor in the development of eighteenth-century Scottish art’, it reflected the importance Glasgow placed on education, art and culture to the city’s economic and social development and success – something we fundamentally believe remains important today.

92 years later, on the 6th January 1845, The Glasgow Government School of Design was established.  The School was one of twenty similar institutions established in the United Kingdom’s manufacturing centres between 1837 and 1851.

Set up as a consequence of the House of Commons Select Committee of 1835 – 1836 on Arts and their connection with Manufactures, the Committee raised key questions regarding the condition of the nation’s art, its value to the individual, its usefulness to manufacturing industry, and art education’s contribution to the country’s economic success.

Today those questions remain as pertinent as ever as we address the grand global challenges of the 21st century.

Individuals and collectives working in the creative and cultural sectors across the globe help to improve the quality of people’s lives; creating and designing interventions, places and solutions and producing works that inspire people to see the world around them differently. Highly creative and innovative individuals help us to reimagine our futures and our economies.

Our Community

The GSA is a diverse community of 3,500 students and staff and over 22,000 alumni working and practicing across the world. We are global, internationally significant and influential as a leading centre for studio-based creative education and research. Today with campuses in Glasgow and a significant rural hub in Altyre in the Highlands of Scotland, our ability to work across two places, rural and urban offers considerable opportunities for our education and research and the contribution and impact we can make.



Glasgow is an important and dynamic creative and cultural city, home to a growing population of creatives, practitioners from the visual and performing arts, and some of Scotland’s most important cultural and creative organisations.

It is an entrepreneurial city, the largest economy in Scotland with the third-highest GDP per capita of any city in the UK, and Glasgow’s creative industries are a major source of economic growth and employment.  The city’s creative industries, together with its major cultural institutions, including The Glasgow School of Art, have a global reputation and influence that builds on Glasgow’s position as a European cultural capital, making it alongside London and Manchester one of the UK’s most successful city-economies.

The GSA has a significant role to play from the economic impact of our staff, and students, and with nearly 60% of our graduates remaining in the city working within the creative and cultural industries, the wider economy or through establishing their own businesses.  Importantly, they all contribute to the city’s cultural infrastructure through exhibitions, events and their international networks.


Institutional structure and portfolio

The Glasgow School of Art’s teaching and research is structured around its four specialist academic schools:

  • The Mackintosh School of Architecture
  • The School of Design
  • The School of Fine Art
  • The School of Innovation and Technology


An International Art School

As one of the leading art schools in the UK, The Glasgow School of Art welcomes international students to all of its programmes. The School offers an environment in which difference is encouraged and diversity of background and approach is valued.

International students at the School come to the GSA from around the world. Each year we welcome more than 90 students from our Exchange and Study Abroad partners, who each, in their turn, further contribute to the international dimension of the learning experience at the School.

The GSA currently has 80 international partnerships in place, from mainland Europe to Scandinavia, extending to India and China (where we also have an office in Shanghai). GSA offers students and staff a range of opportunities from student exchange with art, design and architecture schools across the world to international research and training networks such as the consortium behind the Master of European Design programme.

As a relatively small institution, and one that is very focused, we are a creative community, situated in the centre of the city of Glasgow. Students are encouraged to engage with Glasgow which becomes more than just the city in which to live. It becomes a source of both inspiration and research. Glasgow is home to over 80,000 students at its five institutions of higher education, which might explain why it’s been voted Britain’s best student city as well as Time Out’s 50 Best Cities in the World 2024. International students will find Glaswegians friendly, and the city is renowned for offering a warm welcome.


Useful Links


GSA website www.gsa.ac.uk

Strategic Plan 2022-2027 website  https://www.gsastrategicplan.co.uk

Download the Strategic Plan


Key Documents – searchable repository including financial statements, programme specifications and more

Current the GSA digital mini prospectus


Our community on Instagram – run on a takeover basis by staff and students


Glasgow Art Map  Founded by GSA graduates, Glasgow Art Map is an online map and journal of contemporary exhibitions happening in Glasgow.


The GSA Guide to Glasgow