Discover the Legacy of Stow College

Discover the Legacy of Stow College


Stow College takes its name from David Stow, an education trailblazer whose primary teaching seminary was established nearby at Dundasvale. Founded as the first purpose-built Further Education college in Glasgow, Stow College commemorated its 75th anniversary in 2009.

Traditionally renowned for its focus on engineering, Stow College diversified its offerings to encompass a wide array of disciplines including ICT, social sciences, women's studies, business studies, and music. Across its six departments—Music & Creative Industries, Management & General Education, Computing & Internet Technologies, Engineering Technology, Science & Health, and Trade Union Education—the college provided courses ranging from introductory levels to Higher National Diploma programs.

It also offered online and distance learning and a large range of commercial short courses. The Trade Union Education Department was the largest of its type in Scotland and one of the most successful in the UK. It was also the only college in the Central Belt to offer a Gaelic immersion course.

The college's dedication to innovation and excellence is evident in its numerous accolades from the Scottish Qualifications Authority, including the esteemed Pride o' Worth Award. Notably, its record labels—Electric Honey, Gdansk, and Root8—have propelled internationally recognized talents such as Snow Patrol, Belle & Sebastian, and Biffy Clyro. Electric Honey, established in 1992, stands as Glasgow Kelvin College's in-house record label, overseen by industry veterans Ken McCluskey (The Bluebells), Douglas MacIntyre (Creeping Bent), and previously Alan Rankine (The Associates), alongside students from the HNC/D Music Business course. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Electric Honey continues its mission of discovering and launching promising artists into the music industry.

The label was described by Uncut magazine as being "The most successful student-run label in the world",

Stow College played a pioneering role in education, being the first in Scotland to offer a Higher National Certificate course in Computer Games Development, thus contributing significantly to Scotland's burgeoning gaming industry. Its strong partnerships with local universities ensured seamless pathways for students to progress into degree programs.

The Music and Creative Industries department boasts a wealth of industry expertise with lecturers drawn from professional backgrounds in music, television, and events management. As a highly innovative department, in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Students from the college's TV production course provided official coverage of the Glasgow Film Festival. A public information film (Doorstoppers, produced by Matt Quinn of Caledonian Television, who at one time lectured in TV production at the college), featuring material gathered by Stow College TV students, opened the 2009 Stirling Film Festival at the MacRobert Arts Centre.

In 2013, Stow College merged with John Wheatley College and North Glasgow College to form Glasgow Kelvin College, marking a new era in its storied history. Subsequently, in 2016, the campus transitioned into the hands of The Glasgow School of Art and underwent significant refurbishment, emerging as the Stow Building—a testament to its enduring legacy.

£500k funding boost for Glasgow School of Art restoration and plans for Stow College

Notable Alumni:

Stow College has nurtured notable alumni across various fields, including James Johnston, Ben Johnston, W. S. Graham, John Reid (former manager of Elton John and Queen), Craig A. Russell (Scottish businessman), and J.R. Holmes (marine engineer).

Historical Significance:

From its origins as a Trades School providing evening classes for shipyard workers to its pivotal role as a Rolls Royce production centre during World War II, Stow College's history is marked by resilience, innovation, and service to the community.

Stow College, New City Road, image courtesy of Mitchell Library