Welcome to America - First for Glasgow Caledonian University in New York

13 June 2017

In a groundbreaking move, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been awarded a charter by New York State Education Department (NYSED) to become a degree-granting body in New York – the first foreign higher education institution to achieve this.

In New York, a city renowned for its global role in business and fashion, research indicated industry demand for the University’s portfolio of research-based Masters-programmes in these subjects with a core focus on sustainability and ethical business.

The staff at Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) have been engaged in research, conferences and other events since it opened its doors. We have already secured research funding commitments including $1.25m from bodies such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations.

More than thirty global brands have been inspired to work with the GCU Fair Fashion Center to research fashion as an instrument of sustainability and ethical business. The New York State Economic Development Corporation, companies, non-profit making organisations and influential individuals wrote letters of advocacy to the NYSED in support of the application to award degrees.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “Glasgow Caledonian University is a special place. We are a forward-looking, socially entrepreneurial and truly international University. I am absolutely thrilled that we now have the opportunity to build upon our new research and business relationships in New York to deliver our unique programmes, which focus on fair fashion, fair finance and sustainability.

“Our New York team, led by Vice-President Cara Smyth, should be very proud of the steadfast way it has forged a new path for our University.”

Cara Smyth said: “I am delighted that we will be able to put all our plans into action and offer Masters degrees in finance, fashion and social business. Our Fair Fashion Center will support the degrees as we continue to identify effective approaches to profitable sustainability, proving the business case by turning global challenges into industry opportunities. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to our GCU colleagues, the team here, and our many supporters in business, not-for-profits and the city of New York.”

Mrs Hazel Brooke MBE, Chair of the University’s governing body, said: “We welcome the outcome. The Court has consistently focused on, tested and monitored this bold and imaginative project throughout the lengthy and rigorous process. Congratulations are due to the staff and advisors who have worked so hard to achieve this result. The Court’s task now will be to ensure that this wonderful opportunity is maximised to the benefit of the University and its communities in Glasgow and New York.”

The award is for a ‘provisional’ charter, which becomes ‘absolute’ after a period of five years subject to a review by NYSED. Around the world, this is standard practice for new higher-education establishments. During the initial period, GCNYC will have the authority to deliver Masters courses and charge fees – many US students will be eligible for scholarships to study. The University learned of the positive decision on its charter application during a meeting of the Board of Regents on Tuesday, June 13.

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