Our history

Since its founding in 1967 the University of Stirling has been helping its graduates, staff and students to shape the world.

The visionary ‘60s

Our history begins with a visionary who recognised that society was being transformed and it needed people skilled in navigating change.

Lord Robbins, our first Chancellor, was an economist who changed the face of British higher education. He understood the importance of a skilled workforce to the future wealth and wellbeing of society. For Robbins it was all about ‘education with a purpose’ and his Robbins principle declared that university places 'should be available to all who were qualified for them by ability and attainment'. The Robbins Report widened access to higher education, and since then the University of Stirling has been delivering the progressive vision and transformative thinking he first articulated in the 1960s.

On 18 September 1967, 164 undergraduate students and 31 postgraduates began their courses at the new Pathfoot Building. Since then we’ve grown to over 18,500 students globally from 140+ nationalities and we have more than 100,000 alumni in 180 countries.

We’re distinct for the way we built our teaching on flexibility, choice and innovation. Our key research innovates in the fields of:

Pathfoot building

The modern University

The University is now organised into five faculties:

In addition the Institute for Advanced Studies supports our thriving postgraduate community. We also have a number of internationally respected institutes and centres covering a broad range of subjects. We have degree course partnerships in China with Hebei Normal University and in Singapore with Singapore Institute of Management.

Our campus is located on the edge of the bustling city of Stirling, close to Glasgow and Edinburgh. We’re situated on the site of the historic Airthrey estate which includes the Robert Adam-designed 18th century Airthrey Castle. In 2016 our campus was rated first in the UK by International Student Barometer.

In 2002, the University of Stirling and the landscape of the Airthrey Estate was designated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites as one of the UK's top 20 heritage sites of the 20th century.

Ambitious future

In 2017 we celebrated our 50th anniversary. We’re not resting on our achievements. We have ambitious plans for the future as we look to build on our research profile and international standing to become one of the top 25 universities in the UK.