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University of Paisley
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University of Paisley

The University of Paisley main campus is located in Paisley, Scotland, about 8 miles west of Glasgow.

In common with other colleges that became Central Institutions that have in turn become Universities, Paisley was influenced by, and constructed from long-standing and diverse educational predecessors.

These include the Philosophical Institution, (1808) of which Thomas Coats (local industrialist) was a keen member and benefactor and the School of Arts, (1836), which was succeeded by the School of Design (1846). In 1852 Schools of Design in Britain were renamed Schools of Art, then renamed again as Schools of Art and Science.

The renamed College funded a new building with gifts from local industrialists (including Peter Brough, and Thomas Coats). An architectural competition was held and Princess Louise laid the foundation stone in 1897. From the early 1900s the college was a centre for teaching the London University external degree programme.

The College had a financial struggle to retain its independence from central and local Government as Paisley Technical College and School of Art (from 1904).

Central Institution Status meant closing the school of Art (ceding students to Glasgow School of art) but it had become a financial necessity. It became Paisley Technical College a Government funded Central Institution in 1950.

In the 1960s a large physical expansion took place on the main (20 acre) Paisley town centre site. Paisley in common with other C.I.s and the forming Polytechnics offered a range of degrees under the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA).

In 1992 (along with English Polytechnics and most Scottish C.I.s) it was granted the title University. This prompted a merger with Cragie Teacher Training College in Ayr, an incorporation of Nursing colleges, and the setting up of a joint venture with the University of Glasgow on a new campus site in Dumfries.

The University currently has three main campus locations in Paisley, Ayr and Dumfries with approximately 10,000 students and 1,300 staff on hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

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