Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Serving our local communities

Open Campus

The unique and award-winning GCU campus in the heart of the city centre connects with the community in several ways:

  • The state-of-the-art gym, exercise classes and halls in the ARC, are available for anyone to use - you don't have to be a GCU member of staff or student.  The ARC hosts community groups such as the Active Seniors group and is a partner in the 'Live Active' programme - a GP referrel scheme through Glasgow City Council. Many members who have come through this scheme, remain ARC users as an 'Access' member.  The ARC operates the talented athlete programme in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow University and the University of Strathclyde.
  • Our Saltire Centre Library including GCU University Archives which holds vast collections which cover a range of topics including Scottish left wing politics, social work and social services in Scotland, The Anti-Apartheid Movement in Scotland are open to the public.
  • Our Learning Cafe in the Centre for Executive Education is open to the public.
  • GCU’s clinical optometrists provides a full range of eye examination services throughout the year in our eye clinic 
  • A diverse range of organisations use the university’s lecture facilities outside classroom hours through our Heart of the Campus initiative such as local church groups.
  • From songwriting to art appreciation, there’s something for everyone with GCU’s Caledonian Cultural Fellows initiative, set up to enhance the university’s cultural life and encourage creativity through activities, events and performances.
  • At GCU Doors Open Day, members of the public were given behind the scenes access to GCU by volunteer staff and students to learn about GCU's past, present and future as part of the Glasgow Preservation Trust's annual programme.


Independent research by Biggar Economics estimates that nearly one in three GCU students has undertaken voluntary work since joining the University. 

  • Students are supported in their volunteering by The GCU Careers service and in volunteering by The GCU Student's Association Student Leaders programme. Students volunteer on campus for the university community through Nightline, Radio Caley and The Edit and off campus with the local community such as through the Carbon Ambassador's programme.
  • Student officers contribute to community council meetings and health and wellbeing campaigns.
  • ‌Alongside GCU signing the NCCPE's 'Engaged University' Manifesto, The GCU Student's Association pledged to encourage and support their members (GCU Students) to participate in Community Engagement in February 2013. GCU Student Association Pledge for GCU Strategy
  • GCU is also backing staff and student volunteering for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  Please view our volunteering film and find out more on our 2014 page.

Supporting Charities

GCU is a registered charity and raises funds for our Brighter Futures Fund  In an exercise to map Community Engagement at GCU, it was clear from the responses that many of our staff are involved in supporting charities in a wide variety of ways from volunteering to fundraising.  GCU students also raise a lot of money for charity through RAG, The Allistair Boyd Ball and Fight for Sight. Our hospitality services, run by Cordia (Services) LLP support charities such as Mary's Meals and play a part in many engagement activities on campus. 

Grameen and GCU

Glasgow Caledonian University is working in partnership with Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Healthcare Trust to deliver various projects, including leveraging the university’s expertise in nursing and midwifery to support the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Bangladesh, and facilitating the creation of the first Grameen microfinance bank in Europe, which will go on to offer financial assistance to impoverished west coast communities.

Magnusson Scholarships

Awards of up to £5,000 are presented to students in their second year upwards, or to researchers in the early stages of their academic careers through our Magusson Scholarships

Environmental Engagement

Volunteer and identified staff and students are actively engaged in joint working groups to discuss and move forward environmental issues.  Initiatives such as Go Green week and our Garden at the Heart of the Campus competition are examples of environmental engagement.  GCU was the first university in Scotland to be awarded the Eco Campus Gold award, marking the commitment of GCU's staff and students to sustainable principles.

Caledonian Club & GCU London Club

Our groundbreaking Caledonian Club is committed to widening access to higher education, changing attitudes to education and helping young people and their families in areas of Glasgow’s with the lowest progression rates to University to build key life skills.  View our Caledonian Club film to learn more about how GCU staff and students are engaging with school children. This work is extended to our campus in London with the GCU London Club Both the Glasgow Caledonian Club and GCU London Club do outreach work, not just with the children but with the families of Club members such as through Nursery Graduation ceremony's, a Community Psychology Module, an Open University partnership to re-engage parents in education. The Club's model will now be extended to GCU New York.