St Andrews and Dundee lead partnership

Wednesday 24 May 2000

An ambitious partnership is to be launched by the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee leading Scottish Universities into a new higher education landscape.

The venture – Promoting Partnership: An Evolving Collaboration – aims to expand both teaching and research in important emerging areas, experiment with innovation, build relationships with the private sector and generally contribute to the impact of higher education in Scotland.

In order to embark on the partnership, the Universities have been awarded a grant in excess of £300,000 from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council to fund a variety of specific initiatives generated by an audit of opportunities, initially concentrating on five collaborative groups: Engineering and Physical Sciences; Medicine and Health Sciences; Biology, Biochemistry and Chemistry; Art History/Art and Design; and Commercialisation.

The innovative joint activities will broaden the higher education sector’s portfolio, enhance its international competitiveness in research and education and contribute to the social and economic well-being of Scotland.

The partnership will also generate considerable opportunities for students, for example in the new subject area of Electronics and Opto-electronics where a Joint First-Degree Course will be developed. Recruitment of undergraduates and postgraduates will be enhanced, for example, by the widened access programme in medicine and nursing and by the novel marrying of theory with practice in Art History (St Andrews) and Art and Design (Dundee). While initially pursuing specific initiatives between the two Universities, it is hoped that the venture will eventually open the doors to future partnerships with other organisations.

The venture has been warmly welcomed by both Universities. Acting Principal of the University of St Andrews, Professor Colin Vincent said, “The University of St Andrews is delighted to have this exciting opportunity to form a real working partnership with a University of the distinction of the University of Dundee. We firmly believe that this will generate great benefits for both institutions and for Scotland as a whole. The two universities share a common mission to provide outstanding teaching and learning experiences for their students, and to be at the cutting edge of internationally competitive research. By working together, we will be in a strong position to build upon our mutual strengths and thus provide new opportunities for future generations of students and for the Scottish economy.”

Meanwhile, Principal of the University of Dundee, Dr Ian Graham-Bryce said, “This is an exciting – even an inspirational – moment for universities across Scotland. By linking arms with our ancient and esteemed sister across the Tay, we are together forging a step change in the university sector and leading the way into tomorrow’s higher education landscape.

“It is an unpredictable journey, but both universities have taken that first stride with enthusiasm. By travelling in partnership we can lift our eyes to the horizon and beyond – to a host of possible collaborations and associations. I have no doubt there will be challenges and adventures along the way but the prospect fills us with a sense of freshness and vigour. In combining the formidable strengths of the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews we believe we can more than double our influence and opportunities in a range of areas including research funding bids, student opportunities and international pulling power.”

Chief Executive of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council John Sizer said, “This project offers an exciting approach to the development of a strategic alliance between two such prominent universities. We expect it to provide great benefits, both in teaching and research, to the universities and their students, as well as offering tangible broader benefits to Scotland as a whole. I wish the project every success.”


NOTE TO EDITORS – Further information can be obtained from Claire Grainger, Press & Public Relations Officer, University of St Andrews on telephone (01334) 462530 or mobile 07730 415 015; or Carol Pope, Press Officer, University of Dundee on telephone (01382) 345108.

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