A typewriting class at Glasgow and West of Scotland Commercial College, c 1949. The teacher at the back of the class is Alice Young.
The proportion of women students at the College rose steadily over the years, largely as a result of increased demand for typing skills in offices. In 1930 it reached 34.5 per cent, when it was noted that "women far outnumber men in the early years of training, but tend to disappear in many of the advanced classes." Women students formed a majority during the Second World War.
After the war, the view was taken that the function of the College was to train highly-skilled secretaries, not junior shorthand typists. In 1947 a Secretarial Diploma Course was set up under the Department of Professional Studies and Modern Languages. Junior secretarial training came under the Department of General Commercial Studies, and was eventually taken over by Glasgow Corporation. Better-qualified school leavers were attracted to the College as demand for highly-trained private secretaries increased. In 1964, the Department of Secretarial Science was absorbed by the School of Business and Administration at the University of Strathclyde.
Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives
business admininstration, commerce, Glasgow and West of Scotland Commercial College, secretaries, students, typewriters, typewriting, typing, typists, University of Strathclyde, women