Opened by the then Glasgow Corporation on 26 September 1934 Stow College takes its name from David Stow (1793-1864), a Victorian philanthropist and one of the greatest pioneers in the history of Scottish education.
David Stow’s legacy
In response to the overwhelming need for proper education for children in Glasgow in the early 19th century, David Stow founded an Infant School in 1828 in the Drygait area of the city. Stow was an innovator and introduced revolutionary methods such as visual aids and group work, as well as the concept of a ‘playground’. Stow believed that properly trained teachers were the key to a good education and so in 1836 he established the ‘Normal Training Seminary’ at Dundas Vale in Cowcaddens. This was the first purpose-built teacher training college in Great Britain. The building still stands today, just a few yards along from the present Stow College.
Just as David Stow shaped and influenced the development of education in Glasgow and Scotland, so has Stow College (the first purpose-built FE college in Glasgow) shaped and influenced the development of Further Education in Glasgow and Scotland.
The modern Stow College and new developments
Today Stow College is a thriving, cosmopolitan, modern college, with learners from over 70 countries studying courses as diverse as Business Administration and Musical Theatre; Social Care and Computer Games Development; Applied Science and Music Performance. The emphasis on high quality training and innovation however is still paramount. This was reflected in 2009 when the College was awarded Gold in the European Foundation for Quality Management ‘Recognised for Excellence’ programme, as well as being named winner of the 2008/09 Scottish Award for Business Excellence by Quality Scotland.
Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning
The establishment of Stow’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning in 2013 again demonstrates the College’s drive to transform vocational education and training in order to deliver a different outcome for students and employers in the 21st century workplace.
For 77 years, then, Stow College has been at the heart of learning in Glasgow. There are not many families across the Greater Glasgow area that have not had a family member enrolled at Stow College at one time. The College’s policy of removing barriers to learning for those from disadvantaged or under-represented groups ensures that this tradition of encouraging individuals to achieve their potential continues, thus helping Glasgow, and Scotland, flourish.