Our Student Union was founded in 1971 when Paisley College of Technology gave the students their first space in the old Rent office in Hunter Street in Paisley. Known locally as the “Buroo” the Union provided a space for Students to socialise and campaign for improvements to the learning experience.
The new Union got to work quickly, lobbying the University to improve its student accommodation, campaigning for fairer marking for assessments and ensuring adequate resources and books in the Unviersity’s spaces.
As time passed, our Union grew with our partner institution, becoming the University of Paisley Students Union (UPSA) in 1994 following the merger with Cragie College of Education. This saw the Union’s reach expand to Ayr and after a short campaign from Students, the Union opened its Ayr Union in 1999 in a purpose built building created by the University for the Union.
After more than 30 years in its Hunter Street building and a long, long campaign by the Students in the Paisley Campus. The University, seeing the success of the new building for Students in Ayr, bought land and built the Union’s current main building in Storie Street in Paisley. This building opened in 2003 and has been the Union’s main headquarters since.
In 2007 the Union once again merged as a result of the University of Paisley merging with Bell College of Technology, becoming the UWS Student Union, the institution we are now. We’ve gone from strength to strength and have continued to campaign for the rights of UWS students across all of our campuses. In 2019, 2021 and 2022 the Union won the coveted Higher Education Student Union of the Year award at the NUS Scotland awards, each time recognising the campaigning and engagement achievements of the Union.