Exclusive: Glasgow University is now using an actual church for its lectures

‘Love that I’m paying £19,000 a year as an international student for that’

A few days ago, The Glasgow Tab reported that Glasgow University is renting out a cinema to teach classes.  We thought classes in a cinema would be as bizarre as it would get. But now, to everyone’s surprise, it gets even stranger: Glasgow University is using Wellington Church as a space to hold lectures.

This week, students from across different year groups have filed into the pews of the Church of Scotland church rather than their lecture theatres and it’s set to go on all term with students timetables showing the space will be used until at least Christmas.

The church, located on Southpark Avenue and a short walk from the university library, is thankfully walking distance from campus. It’s also roughly the same age as the main university building, having been built in the late 19th century.

Subjects taught there include politics and psychology. Second year student Evan, who does a joint honours degree, told The Glasgow Tab she has those two subjects back to back which means two hours of sitting on wooden pews.

Pictures seen by The Glasgow Tab show multiple students setting up their own personal hotspots within the church to be able to use the internet on their laptop.

“There’s no eduroam extension (student WiFi) so I have to use my data and hotspot to take notes on my laptop which sits on my knees since it doesn’t fit on the tiny little ledge for the bibles,” Evan said.

She went on to say: “When it’s sunny the light comes right through the stained glass and you can’t see the projector screen.”

“Love that I’m paying £19,000 a year as an international student for that,” she added.

Another student was more positive about their initial experience studying there.

They told The Glasgow Tab they find it “pretty cool”.

“It was unexpected but a nice twist,” the student said.

Other students we spoke to told us the church isn’t too cold but there are some logistical issues with the building.

Alongside there being very little room to rest any laptops or books, students have said there are big queues to get into the church as the space, which can hold up to 1,000 people, only has one entrance through which students can come in.

The church website suggests it’s still functioning as a normal church as well as an impromptu Glasgow University lecture theatre. There are still bibles on the pews as students enter for their lectures and on its website, the church invites people to “join us for our worship this Sunday!”

A spokesperson for University of Glasgow said: “Our ongoing campus redevelopment plan has recently added a state-of-the-art learning centre and the Advanced Research Centre to our learning and teaching capacity. We are making use of a few teaching rooms close to campus while refurbishment work is underway across our campus.”

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