Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is a vibrant university with its main campus in the centre of Scotland’s largest city. It also has campuses in London and New York. It has more than 20,000 students and 1,600 staff from over 100 countries. The university has the aim of providing education and research that serve ‘the Common Good’ and prides itself on its diverse student intake. Its mission is to make a positive difference to the communities that it serves and this is at the heart of all that it does, especially in its social innovation teaching and research.
“Universities are the engines of our economies, they ignite our imagination and curiosity, produce untold ideas and some universities, like GCU, also seek to put their best ideas into practice for social benefit.” 
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal & Vice Chancellor of GCU
The University’s Research Strategy is framed around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, enhancing integration with initiatives such as PRME and AshokaU. It addresses the Goals via three societal challenge areas of Inclusive Societies, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Environments. The VOLPOWER Project actively engages with two of these three areas. From the most recent Research Excellence Framework(REF), GCU emerged as top Modern University in Scotland for research power.
The three Principal Investigators for the VOLPOWER project are all staff in the Glasgow School for Business and Society (GSBS) at GCU. The School brings together a range of subject areas to reinforce GCU’s mission as a University for the Common Good. The belief that it is only through exploring the impact of business on society that we can build teaching, learning and research that equips our students to excel in their studies and gain valuable employment to make a better world for all is at the heart of what the School does.
Within the School there are a number of research centres, including the WiSE Centre for Economic Justice where our project is based. The study of migration and human rights are key areas of research for the WiSE Centre. The Centre provides an interdisciplinary approach. The advent of the 2015 refugee crisis has led to migration and migrants becoming a central focus of human rights.

Prof. Umut Korkut (Principal Investigator)

Umut Korkut is Professor of International Politics at Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Previously, he was Research Fellow in the School for Politics and International Relations at the University College Dublin (2007-10). He completed his DPhil (magna cum laude) at Central European University in Budapest (2004). In 2009, he was awarded Associate Professorship by the Turkish Higher Education Council. Since 2007, he has carried professional service and international roles for Political Studies Association as convenor of Comparative European Politics Specialist Group. In 2016, he was appointed as a Trustee for the Executive Committee of PSA. Prof Korkut has an international and national reputation first in European politics, with specialisation in East European and Turkish politics; second in migration and forced migration with specialisation in East Mediterranean and Eastern Europe; and third in religion, gender and politics.

Dr. Fiona Reid

Fiona Reid is a lecturer in Events, Sport and Tourism Management. Her current research focuses on volunteers, volunteering and the voluntary sector in sports, events and tourism.  Fiona is the Vice Chair of the UK Sports Volunteering Research Network and a registered member of the Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group for Sport.  She is currently supervising PhD students in sport and The Homeless World Cup, sport volunteering and sport tourism.

Dr. Fiona Skillen

Fiona Skillen is a Senior Lecturer in History within the Department of Social Science in the Glasgow School for Business and Society. Her research focuses on sport and gendered participation. Her work has focused predominately on historical patterns of participation however recent work has also examined current aspects of women’s sports participation including volunteering, commonwealth games and sports heritage. She is Past Chair of the British Society of Sport History and until recently she also sat on the Executive Committee of Scottish Women in Sport. In 2014 she was named as a BBC Woman Expert for her research on women’s sport history. She is currently supervising a number of PhD students working in the areas of sport, sports volunteering and sports tourism.

Dr. Maggie Laidlaw

Maggie Laidlaw is a Post-Doctoral Researcher within the Department of Economics in the Glasgow School of Business & Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is also Lead Curator with Volpower and Module Leader & Lecturer in (PG) Applied Skills in Qualitative Research Methods within the GCU Graduate School. Maggie received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh, and her M.Res from The Glasgow School of Art. Her PhD scholarship was funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), and project linked to the Imagine (Connecting Communities through Research) programme, which developed out of the AHRC funded Connected Communities Consortium.

Maggie’s research interests focus on the use of creative arts to explore temporal practices across various communities. She is a trained ethnographer and experienced in creative and collaborative qualitative research methodologies. Maggie’s field of expertise cover: Temporalities of volunteering & community engagement; Sociology of Time; Gendered Temporalities; Norbert Elias’s We-I balance; Qualitative research methods: Creative research; Poetry; Innovative Research Methods; Co-production and collaboration.

In a voluntary capacity Maggie is actively engaged with her local community, and experienced in leading community arts projects.

Marcus Nicolson

Marcus is project manager for VOLPOWER at GCU. His MA thesis looked at sports-for-inclusion policies in Helsinki, Finland. Currently he is conducting his PhD research on sports volunteering as a mechanism for the social inclusion of marginalised youth.
Marcus has experience volunteering in sports projects for refugees in Helsinki. He has also worked with local NGOs to coordinate sports for vulnerable youth groups in Finland.

Country Profile: The United Kingdom

Glasgow is located in the West of Scotland, in the Central Belt area. Scotland has a population of 5.3million people. The wider metropolitan area of Glasgow is home to 1,800,000 people, and is one of the most populous cities in the UK.Glasgow has a strong industrial heritage, dating back to the ship building industry that was established along the River Clyde in the early 20th century. The city serves as the cultural capital of Scotland with a lively music and arts scene. It is also home to 3 universities and multiple colleges.

Migration and Glasgow
Approximately 10% of the UKs dispersed asylum seeker population are housed in Glasgow. Glasgow also has the largest percentage of ethnic minority groups (12%) of all Scottish cities. The largest, single ethnic minority group is Pakistani. These statistics reflect how the city is changing and growing in diversity.
Glasgow is a city with a rich history of volunteering through community organisations. Many third sector organisations are working to provide lifeline services to migrant groups. Several new initiatives have been launched to include provide sports and arts activities to new migrant communities. The GCU VOLPOWER team intends to harness these strengths and build links with existing organisations to provide volunteering opportunities.

Posts from GCU