Govan Folk University

The Govan Folk University is an innovative concept developed by the Centre for Human Ecology and four other community organisations in the hard pressed community of Govan in Glasgow. When mainstream tertiary education is largely unavailable to people from marginalised communities, and increasingly serves the needs of intellectual and corporate elites and not the needs of planet or people, we aim to call back the original meaning of University as a place of learning for all. Our charter states:


The Govan Folk University is a partnership of educational, arts, religious, community and social enterprise organisations. We come together so as to recognise and strengthen Govan as a place of learning. We aspire to reclaim the meaning of education in ways that deepen the many forms that it can take in the community. This includes honouring our cultural values and sharing skills that are born of experience and rooted in a sense of people, place and purpose – to serve all that gives life in Govan and the wider community.


In practice this means building on the culture, tradition and learning of Govan, bringing together local organisations to collectively deepen our practice of transformation and community building, and offering events and courses to the wider community when appropriate.

Govan Folk University is currently running two funded projects; Govan Together is a Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) funded project to build resourcefulness and community spirit in the naturally low carbon community of Govan.

Kandinsky in Govan: Art, Spirituality and the Future is a series of events celebrating and building on the creativity of Govan, leading up to a high profile conference on this issue from 21 – 23 October which will bring together Govanites with academics and artists from around the world.






The Centre for Human Ecology is an independent academic institute, network, registered cooperative, and registered charity based in Glasgow, Scotland, with an international membership of graduates and fellows. It exists to stimulate and support fundamental change towards ecological and social justice through education, action and research, drawing on a holistic, multidisciplinary understanding of environmental and social systems.