The Countess of Wessex continued her visit to Glasgow on Thursday, opening the new campus of the City of Glasgow College. This was the final part of the so-called ‘super college’, which was established in 2010 as a result of the merger of three of the city’s colleges: Central College, the Metropolitan College and the College of Nautical Studies.
Sophie was accompanied on her tour by the College’s Principal, Paul Little, who said: “We are absolutely delighted and hugely honoured that HRH Countess of Wessex has officially opened our stunning new Super College. City of Glasgow College is truly trailblazing on the world stage, a renaissance in technical and professional education. This is yet another significant step in our journey of excellence and underpins our student-first approach”.
In a brief address, the Royal said: “It’s wonderful to see what you have created here. It is a very exciting place for young people and it screams to them as they walk in the door of opportunity and of a future and that is what our education system is meant to be about,” the Countess explained.
The campus was designed by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects, and has been nominated for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize.
The tour gave the Countess the opportunity to view the facilities, all of which have been built to the highest technological and industry standards, from sectors such as hair and beauty, and STEM. Indeed, the campus has a restaurant run by students, an industrial-sized construction space and even a mock air cabin.
The Countess was shown some of the students’ work, and she seemed to be very comfortable chatting to the students and members of staff, and enjoyed the live demonstrations, including an example of the 3D Printer in use.
While touring the facilities, The Queen’s daughter-in-law was also able to display her creativity, working with gold leaf to design the College’s crest. A notoriously delicate material, Sophie appeared in deep concentration as she meticulously applied the gold leaf – and looked quite proud of the end result as well!
— CityofGlasgowCollege (@CofGcollege) September 28, 2017
Prince Edward’s wife visited the college’s restaurant, and chatted to Gary Maclean, who won Professional Masterchef in 2016 and now teaches a weekend class at the College. The royal guest was also invited to cut a special cake, which had been made to resemble the college.
The Countess of Wessex then unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the campus. The plaque itself was designed and created by staff members and students, using a mixture of oak, granite and sandstone. It also features the College’s crest and motto, “Let Learning Flourish”.