Raymond Soltysek's Blog


Posted in Education, Scotland, Society by raymondsoltysek on June 15, 2012

The David Stow building, part of Jordanhill campus, former home of the Faculty of Education

Today the Jordanhill campus of the University of Strathclyde had an official closing event, though the buildings will remain open for a few weeks longer before staff move to the refurbished Lord Hope building in Cathedral Street. I had lots of work to do and so didn’t attend what was billed as a “celebration of Jordanhill”, but I’m quite sure the 400 people or so who did go heard some inspiring speeches and had a very nice buffet while listening to the jazz band.

Jordanhill has been one of Scotland’s key institutions over the last century or so. I’ve been working in teacher education there since 2001, and it’s the one job in education I always wanted to do and the one place in education I always wanted to work ever since my own training in 1982. In the short time I’ve been there, I have personally been responsible for the training of well over 200 English teachers, and my English section has trained about a thousand. The potential for having an impact on how children have been taught is enormous and hugely rewarding.

Factor in all Secondary subjects, Primary teaching, social work, community education and a whole host of other graduate, postgraduate and professional courses, and we’re talking of several hundred thousand people in the history of the place who comprise a web of interconnectivity across Scotland and the world that is huge. So, despite the fact that most of what is still done there will be transferred to a new beginning on the city centre campus, there is a sense of the closure of an iconic part of education and the end of an era.

Link to Humanities at the University of Strathclyde

The new home of Humanities, including Education, at the University of Strathclyde

The process has taken some time, ever since proposals to build a brand new, £50 million “bespoke “city centre Education Faculty building with offices and state of the art teaching space were mooted in the mid 2000s. Times and priorities have changed since then. The Hope building houses accommodation for the School of Education staff to work side by side with many of the other subjects that have been subsumed into the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty in integrated working environments: teaching accommodation for the influx of the additional students is provided by the existing city centre campus stock.  However, we are almost there now. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with people we have been dislocated from for so long, and having access to the facilities of the city centre; I’m also looking forward to the undoubted fun I’ll have delivering my annual Behaviour Management lectures in the Cineworld cinema complex!

New Technology complex

Architect’s vision of the proposed home of Technology at the University of Strathclyde

As for the old campus: well, it seems it will be mothballed until the University can sell it to private developers, a transaction that will help finance the University’s ambitious aspirations to create a “leading international technological university” with a new £89 million “flagship” Technology and Innovation Centre. Most of the existing buildings will be bulldozed I imagine, but I’m sure the grand old lady that is The David Stow building, along with perhaps the beautiful red brick student accommodation, will be retained, possibly for development as luxury flats. It’ll be a pity that I’ll never be able to afford one of them – I reckon they’ll be out of reach of all educational professionals below Directors of Education or University Principals – because it would be lovely to live in a place that has had such an important influence on my life and my career.

Of course, the University of Strathclyde will continue to provide the very best teacher education you can find. You can find out about the School of Education and the courses it offers here:

Link to the School of Education

2 Responses

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  1. Brian Stewart said, on June 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I attended Jordanhill this year to do a PGDE and I couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else. You can feel the history in the buildings and I really had a sense of belonging with many happy memories of the place. I can’t help thinking there will be something missing from future courses. I can’t put into words why (I have tried and failed) all I know is I tell people I studied at Jordanhill not Strathclyde Uni. and am proud to do so.

  2. Azam said, on November 8, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I was there a few years ago and did the Behaviour Management module with you Raymond. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Jordanhill, the highlights were probably the visit to a behavioral school, that wee shop downstairs, with the friendly shopkeeper who I would have many converstations with over the year and of course my placements in the 4 different schools. The only downside was having to travel from Wishaw to Glasgow and then train to Jordanhill everyday.

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