Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is a very new university, it was founded in 1993, because of the merger of The Queen’s College and Glasgow Polytechnic. It is the third university in Glasgow, is located in the centre of the city and serves over 20 thousand students and 1500 staff members. There are also campuses in London, New York, and a college of engineering in Oman.
The university’s chancellor is currently Annie Lennox, famous singer in Eurythmics, social activist and philanthropist. The chancellor’s role is mostly symbolic, she attends important events such as graduation. In most Scottish universities graduates are “capped” before receiving their degree, which means that the chancellor taps them on the head with a ceremonial hat; this is how I met Annie Lenox.
GCU contains 3 schools, the Glasgow School for Business and Society, School of Computing, Engineering and Built environment and finally the School of Health and Life Sciences. Subjects range immensely within these three schools. There are courses on video game design/development, nursing, psychology, business and tourism/fashion/human resources, there are many subjects that are more specialised and specific than some you would find in an older, more traditional university.
GCU’s library, the Saltire Centre holds an award and is a fantastic academic library for students. It is the leading UK recipient of Erasmus+ research funding to support training, youth and sport in Europe. They hold a platinum status EcoCampus award, the first university to be accredited with this. GCU also partners globally, which links in China, India, South America and Oman.
Life as a student at GCU was busy and challenging but overall extremely rewarding and valuable. I met my best friends here and the support of my fantastic lecturers helped me through my degree, Glasgow Caledonian University was a pleasure to study at.
Text written in June 2019.
Lorna Murphy is an Erasmus+ volunteer from Scotland, UK, graduated in tourism management and loves traveling.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing to a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.