GLASGOW Caledonian University (GCU) is to become the first British university to open a campus in New York.

The city centre university will launch its first American outpost on Thursday.

GCU New York (GCUNY) will offer executive training programmes and masterclasses in a range of subjects, from fashion business to TV drama writing.

It will also give Glasgow-based students the opportunity to study in the Big Apple and allow US exchange students to come to Scotland and London.

Principal and Vice Chancellor of GCU, Professor Pamela Gillies, said: "Opening a base in New York is a landmark opportunity for GCU.

"Extending our global network is vital to GCU's future growth and New York will play a pivotal role in this.

"GCU New York will provide an important entry point to one of the world's biggest education markets; will significantly raise our international profile, will allow us to work with new partners; and will offer valuable exchange opportunities to students and staff on both sides of the Atlantic."

Although there is scope for expansion, GCUNY will initially have space for 100 students and a core team of staff.

In recent years the university has built a solid reputation for teaching a range of subjects, some of which will be available at the launch of the new campus.

These include the fashion business course to TV drama writing and finance; and from responsible management to international brand strategy and sustainability.

As well as student exchanges, staff exchange opportunities will be available and, Professor Gillies said, these will help further the university's international networks.

University management also plan for the new campus to further the "tomorrow's leaders" ethos, which aims to give new graduates the ability to compete in the international jobs markets.

GCU opened a campus in London in 2010 and it is hoped the three hubs will work together between the three cities.

Professor Gillies added: "GCU will be the first British university to open a campus in New York and it will be modelled closely on our highly-successful GCU London campus - we were also the first Scottish university to launch a base in the capital and it has reached its maximum capacity in just three years of operation.

"Like London, GCU New York will adopt a pioneering approach, evolving business relevant content and new teaching methods to complement the digital age."

GCU also hopes to continue its work to widen participation in higher education by launching an US version of its Caledonian Club.

As part of its outreach work, GCU aims to target those school pupils who would not traditionally attend university.

The Caledonian Club involves children and young people in the daily life of the university in the hope they will go on to further education.

GCUNY, which will be sited in Wooster Street, in New York's trendy Soho district, will be formally launched by the university's Chancellor, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

It will be headed by Vice President Cara Smyth, a former director of the Burberry and Jil Sander fashion chains.

GCUNY will also work closely with the newly-launched British School of Fashion, which is to run executive and post graduate training programmes in fashion business education.

Professor Gillies said: "We have an exciting range of niche programmes to offer in key areas of strength.

"These include the business of fashion, luxury brand management and finance and risk management.

"In fact, one of our early exports to New York will be courses from the ground-breaking British School of Fashion, which we launched in London on September 11.

"This is an exciting period in GCU's history and we are delighted to be at the vanguard of Scotland's and Britain's contribution to enterprise, innovation and learning in one of the great cities of the world."