University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

Infobox University
name = University of St Andrews
native_name =
latin_name = Universitas Sancti Andreae apud Scotos
(University of St Andrew amongst the Scots)

image_size = 126px
motto = ΑΙΕΝ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΥΕΙΝ (AIEN ARISTEUEIN) ( _el. Ever To Be The Best)
established = 1410–1413
type = Public university
endowment = £35.2 million [ [] ]
staff =1,804 (all) [ [] ]
817 (academic) [ [] ]
rector = Simon Pepper
chancellor = Sir Menzies Campbell
principal = Dr Brian Lang
free_label =
free =
students = 8,645cite web |url= |title=Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06 |work=Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics |accessdate=2007-04-05]
undergrad = 6,760
postgrad = 1,885
doctoral =
colours = University of St Andrews

St Mary's College

Bute Medical School

St Leonard's Collegecite web| url =| title = Online Catalogue > University Branded Clothing > Hats, Scarves, Ties > Scarves| accessdate = 2007-04-06| publisher = University of St Andrews Students' Association Shop] cite web| url =| title = Scarves of the University of St Andrews | accessdate = 2007-04-06]

city = St Andrews
state = Fife
country = Scotland, UK
campus =
affiliations = 1994 Group
website = []

The University of St Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland and third oldest in the English-speaking world, having been founded between 1410 and 1413.The University is situated in the town of St Andrews, in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It is a member of the 1994 Group, a network of smaller research-intensive British universities. Independent school intake is high, but the university has a widening participation policy. The library and many university departments are spread around the town centre. The town's population of 16,000 is boosted considerably by the University's 8,000 students. St Andrews is frequently listed among the top universities in the United Kingdom.


The University was founded in 1410 when a charter of incorporation was bestowed upon the Augustinian priory of St Andrews Cathedral. A Papal Bull was issued in 1413 by the Avignon Pope Benedict XIII. A royal charter was granted in 1532. [CathEncy|wstitle=University of Saint Andrews] The University grew in size quite rapidly; A pedagogy, St John's College was founded 1418-1430 [] by Robert of Montrose and Lawrence of Lindores, St Salvator's College was established in 1450, St Leonard's College in 1511, and St Mary's College in 1537. St Mary's College was a re-foundation of St Johns College and earlier pedagogy. Some of the early college buildings that are in use today date from this period such as St Salvator's Chapel and St Leonards College chapel and St Mary's College quadrangle. At this time, much of the teaching was of a religious nature and was conducted by clerics associated with the cathedral.

From the 17th to 19th centuries, the university underwent many changes. The distinctive red gowns, which are still in use today, were adopted in 1672. Toward the end of the seventeenth century, the university considered and eventually rejected a move to Perth. In 1747, St Salvator's and St Leonard's merged to form the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard.

During the 19th century, student numbers were very low, in the 1870s, the student population was fewer than 150, and perhaps partly in response to this, the university founded University College in Dundee in 1897, which became a centre of medical, scientific and legal excellence. This affiliation ended in 1967 when the college, renamed Queen's College, became a separate and independent institution as the University of Dundee. The loss of teaching facilities for clinical medicine caused the university's Bute Medical School to form a new attachment with the University of Manchester, which was then expanding its clinical medicine intake.


St Andrews is frequently listed among the top ten universities in the United Kingdom, and often in the top 5, as well as first or second in Scotland.

League Table Rankings

The independent IpsosMORI National Student Survey 2006 commissioned by HEFCE placed it third among the UK universities. [ [,,1857547,00.html National Student Survey: results by institution (2006 figures only) | Students | ] ] It has achieved the most consistently high ratings in research assessment exercises with no subjects receiving a rating lower than 4 on a grading scale 1-5*, where 5* denotes outstanding international research. The departments of English and Psychology have received a 5* in the latest exercise, and 72% of staff across the university received a 5 or 5* rating. [ [ Research at St Andrews: RAE 2001 ] ] The Philosophical Gourmet report ranks St Andrews' graduate philosophy programme as third in the UK, and the joint programme with Stirling University is ranked second in the UK and joint 13th in the world. [ [ The Philosophical Gourmet Report 2006 - 2008 :: Overall Rankings ] ]

Nearly eight in ten graduates obtain a First Class or an Upper Second Class Honours degree. A similar proportion enter further employment requiring a respected degree or obtaining placements for further postgraduate research. The ancient Scottish universities award Master of Arts degrees (except for science students who are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree) which are classified upon graduation, in contrast to Oxbridge where one becomes a Master of Arts after a certain number of years, and the rest of the UK, where graduates are awarded BAs.

Entry to the University is highly competitive; the latest UCAS figures show that there are generally twelve applications for every place available, and the University has not entered Clearing since 2003. The standard offer of a place tends to require at a minimum AAABB at Scottish Highers for Scottish applicants, AAB at GCE A Levels for English, Welsh and Northern Irish candidates, or a score of at least 36 points on the International Baccalaureate. They have a noted preference for candidates who already have these qualifications, something that implicitly gives preference to Scottish applicants as they will have normally completed the Scottish Highers at the time of application, whereas other applicants, such as those studying in England, are still in the process of attaining their final secondary qualifications.



One of the most conspicuous traditions at St Andrews is the wearing of academic dress, particularly the distinctive red undergraduate gown of the United College. Undergraduates in Arts and Science subjects can be seen wearing these garments at the installation of a Rector or Chancellor, at chapel services, on 'Pier Walks', at formal hall dinners, at meetings of the Union Debating Society, or giving tours to prospective students and visitors. Divinity students wear a black undergraduate gown. (See Academic dress of the University of St Andrews.)

Raisin Weekend

Raisin Weekend is the highlight of the social calendar at the University. Held annually over the last weekend of November, first years are entertained by their academic parents, normally consisting of a tea party thrown by the mothers and then a tour of pubs conducted by the fathers. This culminates in a foam fight on the Monday morning in quad of St Salvator's College.


Situated around the town of St Andrews are cobblestone markings denoting where Protestant martyrs were burnt at the stake. To students, the most notable of these is the cobblestone initials "PH" located outside the main gate of St Salvators College. These cobblestones denote where Patrick Hamilton was martyred in 1528. According to student tradition, stepping on the "PH" will cause a student to become cursed, with the effect that the offender will fail his or her degree and so students are known to jump over the cobblestones when passing.

May Dip

The May Dip is a student tradition held annually at dawn on May Day. Students stay awake until dawn, at which time they collectively run into the North Sea. The May Dip is also traditionally the only way of removing the curse inflicted by stepping on the PH cobbles. If a student is to step on the stones he/she can be forgiven if on the dawn of the first of May, they run into the north sea.

Governance and administration

As with the other Ancient universities of Scotland, governance is determined by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858. This Act created three bodies: the General Council, University Court and Academic Senate ("Senatus Academicus").

General Council

The General Council is a standing advisory body of all the graduates, academics and former academics of the University. It meets twice a year and appoints a Business Committee to transact business between these meetings. Its most important functions are to appoint two Assessors to the University Court and elect the University Chancellor.

University Court

The University Court is the body responsible for administrative and financial matters, and is in effect the governing body of the University. It is chaired by the Rector, who is elected by all the matriculated students of the University. Members are appointed by the General Council, Academic Senate and Fife Council. The President of the Students' Representative Council and Director of Representation are "ex officio" members of the Court. Several lay members are also co-opted and must include a fixed number of alumni of the University.

enatus Academicus

The Academic Senate (Latin "Senatus Academicus") is the supreme academic body for the University. Its members include all of the Professors of the University, certain senior Readers, a number of Senior Lecturers and Lecturers and three elected student Senate Representatives - one from the Arts / Divinity faculty, one from the Science / Medicine faculty and one postgraduate student. It is responsible for authorising degree programmes and issuing all degrees to graduates. Another function of the Senate is to discipline students. The President of the Senate is the University Principal.


The University is divided into four academic Faculties:
* Arts
* Divinity
* Medicine
* ScienceEach is governed by a Faculty Council and administered by a Dean. Students apply to become members of a particular faculty, as opposed to any particular school or department.

Number of students by faculty

Academic Year 2005/2006 [1] :

Office of the Principal

The Principal is the chief executive of the University and is assisted in that role by several key officers.

The current composition of the Office of the Principal is:
*Principal and Vice-Chancellor: Dr Brian Lang. Dr Lang will be succeeded as Principal and Vice-Chancellor on January 1st 2009 by Dr Louise Richardson.
*Master of the United College and Deputy Principal: Professor Keith Brown
*Vice-Principal (Governance and Planning): Professor Ronald Piper
*Vice-Principal (Research): Professor Alan Miller
*Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching): Professor Philip Winn
*Vice-Principal (External Relations): Stephen Magee
*Proctor: Professor Christopher Smith
*Quaestor and Factor: Derek Watson

Deans of the Faculties

The Deans are academics appointed by the Master of the United College to oversee the day to day runnings of each faculty. They were once elected by their constituents but this was changed to appointment in 2005

The current Deans are:
*Dean of the Faculty of Arts: Professor Lorna Milne
*Dean of the Faculty of Divinity: Professor James Davila
*Dean of the Faculty of Medicine: Professor R. Hugh MacDougall
*Dean of the Faculty of Science: Professor Alyson Tobin

tudent Residence Halls

St Andrews is characterised amongst Scottish Universities as having a significant number of students in University operated accommodation. Approximately half of the overall student population live 'in Hall'. All are now co-educational and non-smoking. Residences include:

*Albany Park
*Andrew Melville Hall
*David Russell Apartments (built on the site of the now-demolished original "David Russell Hall")
*Deans Court (Postgraduate only)
*Fife Park
*Gannochy House (part of St Salvator's Hall - Postgraduate only)
*John Burnet Hall (formerly known as Athol Hotel, and was male only)
*McIntosh Hall (formerly known as Chattan Hotel, and was female only)
* New Hall
*St Regulus Hall (originally male only)
*St Salvator's Hall (originally male only)
*Stanley Smith House & Angus House (Postgraduate only)
*University Hall (originally female only)

Former residences

In addition to the residences listed above, the University formerly also had the following residences:

*Hamilton Hall
*Hepburn Hall
*Southgait Hall
*Kinnessburn Hall
*David Russell Hall
* Bishops Hall (now part of St Leonards School)


"See also "

Arts and media

*Crispin Bonham-Carter, actor
*Andrew Crumey, novelist
*Gavin Douglas, poet and bishop
*William Dunbar, poet
*Robert Fergusson, poet
*Sarah Hall (writer), novelist
*Hazel Irvine, television presenter
*Sir David Lindsay, poet and diplomat
*Ian McDiarmid, actor
*Louise Minchin, newsreader
*Siobhan Redmond, actor
*Alastair Reynolds, science fiction author
*Brian Taylor, journalist
*Fay Weldon, feminist and writer
*Timothy Williams, novelist

Education and academia

*Sir Eric Anderson, academic, Provost of Eton College
*Kieron O'Hara, philosopher and political writer
*Walter Perry, Lord Perry of Walton, first Vice-Chancellor of the Open University
*Dominic Sandbrook, historian and author
*Lawrence Stenhouse, educational researcher


*Lord Colonsay, former Lord Advocate and Lord Justice General
*Lord Cullen, former Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General
*Lord Eassie, Judge of the Inner House of the Court of Session

Politics and public affairs

*Angie Bray, Conservative and Unionist politician
*Malcolm Bruce, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament
*Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, diplomat
*Christopher Chope, Conservative and Unionist politician
*Barry Gardiner, Labour Party politician
*James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, royalist military commander
*John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee, Jacobite military commander, "Bonnie Dundee"
*Michael Fallon, Conservative and Unionist politician
*Michael Forsyth, Baron Forsyth of Drumlean, Conservative and Unionist politician
*Mark Lazarowicz, Labour Party politician
*John MacGregor, Baron MacGregor of Pulham Market, Conservative and Unionist politician
*Lewis Moonie, Baron Moonie, Labour Party politician
*Madsen Pirie, founder, Adam Smith Institute
*Lyon Playfair, 1st Baron Playfair, scientist and Liberal politician
*George Reid, Scottish National Party politician and second Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament
*Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party
*Alex Singleton, Political Commentator and Former President of the Globalisation Institute
*Catherine Stihler, Labour Party politician
*Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrat Member of the Scottish Parliament
*Desmond Swayne, Conservative and Unionist politician
*Hugo Swire, Conservative and Unionist politician
*James Wilson, signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence

Religion, church, and theology

*David Beaton, Cardinal Archbishop of St Andrews
*George Buchanan, scholar, theologian, and playwright
*Reverend Alexander Duff, DD, LLD, missionary and founder of Scottish Church College, Calcutta
*Thomas Chalmers, theologian and leader of the Free Church of Scotland
*Patrick Hamilton, Protestant Reformer, early martyr of the Scottish Reformation
*Alexander Henderson, theologian
*John Knox, theologian, leader of the Protestant Reformation who is considered the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland
*Andrew Melville, scholar and theologian
*Rev John Munro of Tain, dissenter opposing reforms of James VI.
*Victor Premasagar, Old Testament Scholar and Moderator of Church of South India
*Klyne Snodgrass, American scholar and theologian
*Sheila Watson, archdeacon
*John Witherspoon, theologian, President of Princeton University, and signatory of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.


*King James II of Scotland
*Prince William of Wales (known at university as William Wales)


*James Black, Nobel prize winner in Medicine
*James Gregory, astronomer and mathematician
*Walter Haworth, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
*Alan MacDiarmid, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
*John Napier, mathematician, inventor of logarithms
*Edward Jenner, Doctor of Medicine, first doctor to introduce & study the Smallpox vaccine


*Alexander Berry, explorer, Australian pioneer/settler Coolangatta
*James Crichton, polymath, the original "Admirable Crichton"
*John Honey, student who rescued five men from a ship
*Chris Hoy, World, Olympic and Commonwealth Cycling Champion
*Russell Kirk, conservative theorist and writer
*Olivier Sarkozy, senior investment banker and half brother of French President, Nicolas Sarkozy

Famous Rectors

In Scotland, the position of Rector exists in the four ancient universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh) - as well as in the University of Dundee. The post (officially Lord Rector, but by normal use Rector alone) was made an integral part of these universities by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889. The Rector of the University of St Andrews chairs meetings of the University Court, the governing body of the university, and is elected at regular intervals by the matriculated student body

*Charles Neaves, Lord Neaves 1872–1874, Scottish theologian, jurist and evolution analyst
*John Cleese 1970-1973, English actor and comedian
*Rudyard Kipling 1922-1925, Nobel Prize winner, British author and poet
*Andrew Carnegie 1901-1907, Scottish-born American businessman, philanthropist
*John Stuart Mill 1865-1868, English philosopher and political economist
*Douglas Haig, 1916-1919, Senior British Commander of World War I
*J. M. Barrie, 1919-1922, Scottish author of Peter Pan
*Fridtjof Nansen, 1925-1928, Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Links with the United States

The University has a strong link with the United States. Significant numbers of students matriculate from the United States. Many important American figures (and emigrants to the United States) from Scotland have been associated with the university:

*Andrew Carnegie, Lord Rector of the University. See the following link to the NY Times article which documents his controversial Inaugural Address: [ LORD RECTOR CARNEGIE] .
*Bill Bryson, author.
*Bobby Jones, golfer.
*Guy Sands-Pingot, Brigadier General, USAR.
*Bob Dylan, awarded honorary degree.
*Michael Douglas, awarded honorary degree.
*Jonathan Taylor Thomas, actor, exchange student.

ignatories of the Declaration of Independence

Also, three of the signatories of the 1776 American Declaration of Independence attended or received degrees from St Andrews, including:

*James Wilson, born at Carskerdo, near Cupar (signer from the state of Pennsylvania) Wilson attended three Scottish Universities including St Andrews, but did not earn a degree from any of them. Carrying important letters of introduction, Wilson arrived in America in 1765. He became a Latin tutor at Philadelphia College (now the University of Pennsylvania), and successfully petitioned that institution to grant him an honorary Master of Arts.

*John Witherspoon, born at Gifford, East Lothian (signer from the state of New Jersey) Witherspoon had an impressive list of credentials and was a significant public figure. He was president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Witherspoon was largely responsible for converting the institution into a success by employing Scottish educational standards. He received his Master of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity, and was made a Doctor of Divinity at the University of St Andrews.

*Benjamin Franklin, born Boston, Massachusetts (signer from the state of Pennsylvania) In 1759 Franklin received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of St Andrews.

Exchange Programs

Emory University in Atlanta runs an exchange programme with St Andrews called the Bobby Jones Scholars programme, which allows for recent graduates of both universities to study at the other university. In addition, the School of Physics and Astronomy maintains a postgraduate exchange with The Georgia Institute of Technology. Both of these exchanges are funded by the Robert T. Jones Memorial Trust. The Robert Lincoln McNeil Scholarship is run in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania

University of St Andrews

Any alumnus, student or staff member can wear a scarf of dark blue, sky blue and white:

University of St Andrews

St Mary's College

Bute Medical School

St Leonard's College (Postgraduate)

Student organisations

tudents' Association

The "University of St Andrews Students' Association" is the organisation which represents the student body of the University of St Andrews.The Association was instituted in 1983 under the Constitution and Laws of the University of St Andrews Students’ Association.cite press release
title = Publication Scheme – Category 13 – Class: Relationship with Students’ Association
publisher = University of St Andrews
date = 24 January 2006
url =
accessdate = 2007-07-23
] It comprises the Students' Representative Council (SRC), established in 1885 and legally defined under the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889 [ [ Ministry of Justice - Universities (Scotland) Act 1889] ] , and the Students' Union (which was itself a merger of the Students' Union and the Women's Union). The Students' Association is registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as charity SCO19883 [ [ Extract from the Scottish Charity Register maintained by OSCR] ]

The Students' Association Building (colloquially known as "the Union") is located on St Mary's Place, St Andrews. External bodies operating in the building include a Blackwells bookshop and the University's Student Support Services. The Students' Association is affiliated to, and indeed a founding member of, the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland (CHESS) and is "not" a member of the National Union of Students.

The Students' Association receives a maintenance grant from the University, which stood at £159,000 GBP for the academic year 2004-2005.

The Students' Association is headed up by four sabbatical officers. Currently they are Andrew Keenan (Association President), James Shield (Director of Representation), Stacy Lee (Director of Events and Services) and Philippa Dunn (Director of Student Development and Activities).


Students at the university form various voluntary societies for academic, social, political, religious and other reasons. Many of these are affiliated with the Students' Association; notable affiliated societies are the Bute Medical Society, University of St Andrews Union Debating Society and the Shinty Club. Other groups are not affiliated to the University or the Students Association, and therefore not a part of the University structure. Notable independent student groups include the Global Investment Group, The International Politics Association of St Andrews, Kate Kennedy Club and the Discussion Club.

University of St Andrews Athletic Union

* University of St Andrews Rugby Football Club (Founded 1858)


**"The Saint" is the longest-lived student newspaper, published fortnightly since 1997 and tracing its roots several decades further. It is fully independent of both the Student's Union and the University, which has led to some controversy about certain articles in the past. This independence is only matched by two other student newspapers in Britain - "Cherwell" in Oxford and "Varsity" in Cambridge.
**On 17 April 2006, the "Vine" magazine (supported by the Students' Association) was re-launched. The magazine claimed to generate discussion and thought throughout the student population of the town, and was printed at irregular intervals. Sales were poor, and the publication eventually closed down in 2007.

**On 28 February 2005, a number of St Andrews students launched the University's first FM station broadcasting over 5 km on the 87.7 MHz frequency. The station was granted a Restricted Service Licence by Ofcom, which allowed for six hours of broadcast a day. Subsequent periods of broadcast followed until the end of 2007, when it was decided to re-brand Star FM as STAR or St Andrews Radio and broadcast solely as an Internet station online for twenty-four hours a day. The radio station is now a sub-committee of the Students' Association under the name of the Broadcasting Committee. It recommenced broadcasting on 17th February 2008 and broadcasts 24/7 during University term time. The station can be found at


See also

* Chancellor of the University of St Andrews
* Rector of the University of St Andrews
* Ancient universities of Scotland
* Academic dress of the University of St Andrews


* [ University of St Andrews - Facts and Figures]
* R.G. Cant "The University of St Andrews, A Short History" (Oliver and Boyd Ltd. 1946)

External links

* [ University of St Andrews website]
* [ University of St Andrews Students' Association Website]
* [ University of St Andrews Student Radio]
* [ The Saint - Student Newspaper]
* [ The Sinner - Independent Student Website and Guide to St Andrews ]

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