Double Dutch at St Andrews

Thursday 30 November 2006

Officials at the University of St Andrews were seeing double today (Thursday 30th November) as a pair of identical Dutch twins graduated with identical degrees!

Ilze and Ellen Nijs (25) from Weert in the Netherlands both graduated with Masters degrees (M Litt) with Distinctions in International Business.

While Ilze studied Economics, Political Science and Law at University College Utrecht, it was sister Ellen, who studied Business at The Hague University, who first considered St Andrews as an option for postgraduate study. Ilze found that she too was impressed by the University and ended up joining her sister on the Masters business programme last year.

Citing the ‘traditional’ aspect at St Andrews and the high-ranking School of Management as contributing factors, Ilze and Ellen were also attracted to the close-knit nature and campus-feel of the town.

Ilze said, “The fact that it is a traditional university in a small town was attractive because it felt like a campus. We really enjoyed our time here.”

Although identical, attending the same classes did result in too much confusion. Ellen commented, “It didn’t seem to cause too many problems. Fellow students and teaching staff managed to recognise us individually, though we were often known as ‘the twins’.’

The pair, who were accompanied to today’s ceremony by proud father Frank, will return to where the family now lives in Utrecht. In the new year, both will take up appointments at prestigious organisations – Ilze will join a Dutch bank as a corporate management trainee, while Ellen will work as a consultant for professional services firm Deloitte & Touche.


Issued by Beattie Media – on behalf of the University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-

Ref: double dutch 301106.doc

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