The University of St Andrews (Scots: University of St Andras; abbreviated as St And, from the Latin Sancti Andreae, in post-nominals) is a public university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and, following Oxford and Cambridge universities, the third-oldest university in the United Kingdom and English-speaking world. St Andrews was founded in 1413 when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.
St Andrews is made up of a variety of institutions, comprising three colleges — United College (a union of St Salvator’s and St Leonard’s Colleges), St Mary’s College, and St Leonard’s College, the last named being a non-statutory revival of St Leonard’s as a post-graduate society. There are 18 academic schools organised into four faculties. The university occupies historic and modern buildings located throughout the town. The academic year is divided into two semesters, Martinmas and Candlemas. In term time, over one-third of the town’s population are either staff members or students of the university. The student body is notably diverse: over 145 nationalities are represented with 45% of its intake from countries outside the UK; about one-eighth of the students are from the rest of the EU and the remaining third are from overseas—15% from North America alone. The university’s sport teams compete in BUCS competitions, and the student body is known for preserving ancient traditions such as Raisin Weekend, May Dip, and the wearing of distinctive academic dress.
The university has one of the smallest percentages of students (13%) from lower income backgrounds, out of all higher education institutions in the UK. Around 40% of the student body is from independent schools and the university hosts the highest proportion of financially independent students (58%) in the UK. The university participates in widening access schemes such as the Sutton Trust Summer School, First Chances Programme, REACH & SWAP Scotland, and Access for Rural Communities (ARC) in order to promote a more widespread uptake of those traditionally under-represented at university. In the seven-year period between 2008 and 2015, the number of pupils engaged with annual outreach programmes at the university has increased by about tenfold whilst the number of students arriving at St Andrews from the most deprived backgrounds has increased by almost 50 per cent in the past year of 2015. The university has a higher proportion of female than male students with a female ratio of 59.7% in the undergraduate population.
2. Social sciences
Communication & Media Studies
Politics & International Studies (incl Development Studies)
3. Life sciences
Agriculture & Forestry
4. Arts & humanities
Languages, Literature & Linguistics
History, Philosophy & Theology
5. Business & economics
Economics & Econometrics
Business & Management
6. Physical sciences
Mathematics & Statistics
Geology, Environmental, Earth & Marine Sciences
Physics & Astronomy
7. Engineering & technology
8. Computer science
9. Clinical, pre-clinical & health
Medicine & Dentistry
The University of St Andrews Students’ Association is the organization which represents the student body of the University of St Andrews. It was founded in 1885 and comprises the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and the Students’ Services Council (SSC). The Students’ Association has 12 subcommittees: The Entertainments ‘Ents’ Committee, The Lifelong and Flexible Learners Forum (Lifers), Charities Campaign, Union Debating Society, STAR (St Andrews Radio), Mermaids Performing Arts Fund, Saints LGBT+, Design Team, SVS (Student Voluntary Service), Music is Love, On the Rocks, an annual arts festival, and the Postgraduate Society. Every matriculated student is automatically a member of each subcommittee.
The Students’ Association Building (informally known as the Union) is located on St Mary’s Place, St Andrews. Union facilities include a Blackwells bookshop, several bars and the University’s Student Support Services. In 2013 the Students’ Association Building underwent a refurbishment. The Students’ Association is affiliated to, and a founding member of, the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland but unlike many other students’ unions in the UK is not a member of the National Union of Students, having most recently rejected membership in a referendum in November 2012.
All matriculated students are members of the “Union Debating Society”, a student debating society that holds weekly public debates in Lower Parliament Hall, often hosts notable speakers, and participates in competitive debating in both national and international competitions. Founded in 1794, it claims to be the oldest continuously-run student debating society in the world.