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St Andrews ‘the best University in the world’

The Principal, Prince William, Miss Middleton and the Chancellor

The Principal, Prince William, Miss Middleton and the Chancellor.

HRH Prince William described the University of St Andrews as by ‘far and away the best University in the world’ when he returned to launch its 600th Anniversary Campaign.

Coming back to St Andrews on his first official visit to Scotland with fellow graduate Miss Catherine Middleton, the Prince described how proud he was to be asked to be Patron of the Anniversary Campaign.

During his speech to the audience, Prince William said that the visit was ‘a very special moment to Catherine and me. It feels like coming home.’ He spoke of the University’s aim to raise £100m and its dedication to opening its doors to people of all backgrounds.

He said, “The Appeal we are launching today aims to raise £100 million to invest in people and ideas, ensuring that the brightest students – that’s you and me of course – come to St Andrews, regardless of background and circumstance.”

Leading by example, the University’s Principal Professor Louise Richardson announced during the event that it is to establish a new scholarship, as a wedding gift to the couple.

The University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary will span three calendar years from 2011 to 2013. It marks the formal charter granted by Bishop Henry Wardlaw in February 1411 and the achievement of full university status conferred by Pope Benedict XIII by Papal Bull in 1413.

During today’s visit, Prince William and Miss Middleton attended a reception at University House and visited the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA), where they will be shown the surviving Papal Bull. A gathering of 600 staff and students awaited the couple in the historic St Salvator’s Quadrangle, where Prince William unveiled a plaque to mark the launch of the 600th Anniversary.

Afterwards the couple met with current members of the student community and staff who they had known during their time at St Andrews, before meeting members of the public outside.

Prince William and Miss Middleton met at the University of St Andrews and both graduated in 2005. Prince William graduated with an honours degree in Geography and Miss Middleton with an honours degree in History of Art.


To view Prince William’s speech in full visit:

Note to Editors

Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. Situated on the east coast of Scotland and framed by countryside, beaches and cliffs, the City of St Andrews was once the centre of the nation’s political and religious life.

Today, it I known around the world as the Home of Golf and a vibrant academic centre with a distinctively cosmopolitan feel where students and university staff account for almost half of the local population.

The University of St Andrews is a diverse and international community of 9000, comprising students and staff of 120 nationalities. It has 7500 students, 6000 of them undergraduates, and employs approximately 1800 staff – 700 academic and 1100 support personnel.

St Andrews graduates include Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Nobel Laureate Sir James Black and James Wilson, one of the fathers of the American Revolution. It has 1000 Honorary graduates, including Bob Dylan, Benjamin Franklin, The Dalai Lama, Severiano Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.

The University is one of Europe’s most research intensive seats of learning – over 40% of its turnover comes from research grants and contracts.

It is the top rated University in Scotland for teaching quality and student satisfaction and among the top rated in the UK for research. St Andrews is consistently ranked among the United Kingdom’s top ten universities in university league tables compiled by The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Good University Guide. It has five times been named the top multi-faculty university in the UK in the National Student Survey. In 2010, it was named one of the world’s Top 20 Arts and Humanities universities in the Times Higher World Rankings.

An international reputation for delivering high quality teaching and research and student satisfaction make it one of the most sought after destinations for prospective students from the UK, Europe and overseas. The university currently receives on average 10 applications per place. St Andrews has not entered clearing for several years and sets highly challenging asking rates to attract only the most academically potent students in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Divinity.

It runs an innovative Access Programme to attract new students from non-traditional university backgrounds and currently invests in a wide range of scholarships.

In recent years, the university has pursued a varied programme of investment.

It has recently opened a new £45 million Medical and Biological Sciences building and the provision of 250 new rooms for students. In the year ahead it will progress work on a major £14 million refurbishment of its Main Library, the construction of a new Biological Sciences Research Centre, the development of a wind farm to offset rising energy costs and the development of plans for a renewable energy centre.

As it begins its anniversary celebrations, St Andrews is launching a highly ambitious £100 million fundraising campaign to support new scholarships and ensure it has the resources and infrastructure to continue a 600-year-old tradition of academic excellence.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Press Office

Contact Niall Scott / Gayle Cook / Emma Shea on 01334 462244 / 467227 / 462109.

Ref: Coming home 250211

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