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St Andrews to launch scholarship in honour of HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton

University to present wedding gift to couple during official visit

The University of St Andrews is to establish a new scholarship in honour of two of its graduates, Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton. 

The scholarship will be presented as a wedding gift to the couple when they visit the University today (Friday 25 February 2011) to launch its 600th Anniversary Campaign.

The visit will be Prince William’s first in his role as Patron of the St Andrews 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign and the couple’s first official engagement in Scotland.

A substantial focus of the £100 million Campaign is to raise new funds for scholarships, to ensure that a St Andrews education is accessible to all bright students, regardless of background or circumstance. In total, the university is aiming to raise £13 million towards new scholarships and support for students.

The scholarship to be awarded in honour of Prince William and Miss Middleton will be open to applicants of all nationalities. It will have a value of up to £70,000 and will meet the costs of tuition, if payable, accommodation and living expenses for a four-year undergraduate degree at St Andrews in Science, Arts, Medicine or Divinity.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who without such financial support would otherwise have been unable to attend St Andrews.

The gift will be presented to the couple today on behalf of the students and staff of St Andrews by the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.  She said:

“This will be the first scholarship of its kind at St Andrews and a reflection of this university’s commitment to ensure that we find, attract and support the most gifted students from anywhere in the world.

“It will guarantee that a high quality Scottish higher education can be available to any citizen of the world, that a lack of means need not be a barrier to study and that bright students who might otherwise have been unable to go to university can fulfil their potential.

“We were very pleased to make the offer of this scholarship as a wedding gift to Prince William and Miss Middleton and absolutely delighted that they have graciously accepted.”

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 will attend a reception at University House and visit 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 will await the couple in the historic St Salvator’s Quadrangle, where Prince William will unveil a plaque to mark the launch of the 600th Anniversary.

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.

Ends

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DEADLINE FOR PRESS ACCREDITATION TO THE EVENT HAS PASSED.

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: 600 Patron

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