The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one ofScotland's four ancient universities. The university was founded in 1451 and is often ranked in the world's top 100 universities in tables compiled by various bodies. In 2013,Glasgow moved to its highest ever position, placing 51st in the world and 9th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings.
In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, but was also, with the University of Edinburgh, a leading centre of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. The University became a pioneer in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle classes. Glasgow served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.