Glasgow is recognised as one of the UK’s most successful city-economies and a leading UK creative capital alongside London and Manchester (NESTA Creative Nation 2019 and EU Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor: 2019 Edition). The GSA and wider creative communities play an important role in this. The contribution of GSA’s international students and staff – creative practitioners and academics of international and national significance – is central to the city’s success. Nearly 60% (HESA 2019) of GSA graduates choose to remain in the city making an important contribution to the city’s cultural and creative infrastructure.
The GSA’s Exhibition programme also plays a part in Glasgow’s creative ecosystem, contributing to the city’s economic and cultural vibrancy, with GSA galleries delivering exhibitions from international contemporary artists, designers and architects, GSA staff and students, and exhibitions linked to the rich heritage, architecture, and collections of the GSA.
The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections, which include nationally recognised collections, still hold many of the items that were acquired as teaching tools in the School’s early period, including rare plaster casts, ceramics, and metalwork. They also hold a range of artworks, architectural drawings, design work and material relating to former students and staff and continue to purchase work from student degree shows, in order to capture the changing teaching practices at the GSA and the wider art school landscape.
In 2021, the Glasgow Campus, centred in Garnethill, remains the core setting for studio-based learning, teaching, and research. A cluster of buildings is occupied by the GSA on, and within the immediate vicinity of, Renfrew Street reflecting the organic growth of the institution.
The GSA’s presence and reputation belies its relatively small scale. In the UK, it is ranked alongside institutions such as the Royal College of Art and the University of the Arts London, and internationally with Rhode Island School of Design; Politecnico di Milano; Aalto University, Helsinki; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Pratt Institute New York; and Art Centre College of Design Pasadena.
The QS World University Rankings has placed the GSA 8th in the world for Art and Design institutions for the last three years.
The GSA has also developed a strategic and forward-looking approach to learning, teaching, and research in the visual arts and creative disciplines establishing over recent years the Innovation School and the School of Simulation and Visualisation (Sim Vis).
The Innovation School is a leader in research-based product design and design innovation building an enviable international network of partnerships and collaborators.
Simulation and Visualisation is growing rapidly at the interface of science, technology and the arts. It has successfully commercialised its expertise in 3D modelling and digital visualisation with academic and commercial partners.
These ‘new’ Schools sit comfortably alongside, and work closely with, the longer-established and successful Schools of Design, Fine Art and Architecture. The latter Schools have, over many years, built enviable reputations locally through to internationally because of their innovative and leading-edge approach to teaching and research, and in their partnerships with industry and other education institutions.