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Success prompts growth

The University of St Andrews will welcome its biggest ever population of students this year – thanks to a huge surge in acceptances of offers to study at Scotland’s leading university.

This year, all leading UK universities have experienced exceptional pressure on their student accommodation due to an unprecedented and unpredictably high uptake of offers to study from students commencing in September 2008, especially from undergraduate students.

St Andrews – which currently has 10 applications for every available place – is one of the universities affected by this unforeseen increase in acceptances of offers. This is in part due to changes to the UCAS system which reduced applicant choices from 6 to 5 universities. Exam results among school leavers across the UK also continued to show grade inflation.

“Although it is not possible to give final numbers until all our students matriculate, we currently estimate we will welcome a total full-time student population of 7200 in St Andrews from the start of new term,” said Professor Christopher Smith, Proctor.

“This compares to a total student population last year of 6800.”The University of St Andrews provides a ‘guaranteed’ residential place for our undergraduates in their first year of study, provided they apply for accommodation by 31 May.

“We are unusual in accommodating proportionately more students than any other university in the UK (over 55% of St Andrews students stay in university managed accommodation) and despite the additional pressures this year it is important to stress that we have honoured our guarantee in all instances.”

The substantial and unpredictable increase in acceptances of offers has however placed exceptional pressures on the University’s residential system and it has taken steps to acquire additional accommodation by leasing and acquiring a variety of private sector accommodation.

“Although we have been able to accommodate all students who applied by our published deadline, there were around 50 students who applied late and who were notified that they could not be offered university accommodation,” continued Professor Smith.

“Efforts have continued to find suitable accommodation for these students.

“We would like to thank our staff in Residential and Business Services for their hard work in helping students through this difficult process, the students and their families for their forbearance during these highly unusual circumstances and the Students Association for giving advice, assistance and support to so many of the students affected.

“As Scotland’s leading university, we remain committed to providing an unrivalled quality of education and student experience in St Andrews and will be reviewing our admissions and accommodation strategies to ensure we do everything possible to meet the high expectations of our students, our staff and the local community.”

ENDS

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact: Niall Scott, Director of Corporate Communications
Tel: 00 44 1334 462244
Mobile: 07711 223062
E-mail: niall.scott@st-andrews.ac.uk

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