students on pier

St Andrews in the News

September 2019

Welcome to the September edition of St Andrews in the News – the monthly e-newsletter that keeps all our alumni, parents, donors and friends in the loop about current news, information and events. And an especially warm welcome to our new students (and our new family programme members) who have travelled here from all over the world: we hope you’ll enjoy being part of the University of St Andrews community! Photo credit: Gayle McIntyre, University of St Andrews

University news
View a full list of news from around the University
group of students in red gowns

St Andrews named University of the Year

The University of St Andrews has been named UK University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020. Read more.

wind turbines

Major funding for battery research

A project led by the University to create a safe, cheap and long-lasting battery has been given £12m from the Faraday Institution. Read more.

varsity poster

Scottish Varsity Matches 2019

The ancient rivalry between Scotland’s two oldest university rugby clubs returns to BT Murrayfield on Saturday 21 September. Join thousands of fans to watch the University of Edinburgh and University of St Andrews’ rugby teams clash on the international pitch! Tickets are still available today priced £5 (students) £10 (adults); free entry for U16s when accompanied by an adult. (They increase on Saturday by £5 both online and at the gate.) Keep in touch with the event build-up and ticket information by following @ScottishVarsity or by visiting the website.

NHS screening kit

Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series

Tuesday 8 October, 5.45pm (doors open 5.15pm)
The Booth Lecture Theatre, Medical Building, North Haugh,
We are delighted to announce that David Nott OBE (BSc, 1979) will be delivering the sixth instalment in the Andrew Carnegie Lecture series, made possible through the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Now a leading war-zone surgeon, and founder of the David Nott Foundation, he received an OBE in 2012 for his medical work in war regions. In 2016 he won the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award and a Pride of Britain Award for his work in Syria. During the event we will also unveil a portrait of the late Sir Christopher Booth (MB ChB 1951) and his widow Lady Singleton-Booth, after whom the Booth Lecture Theatre is named.

The lecture is open to all and free to attend, however we expect demand will be high so this event will be ticketed; please register for your ticket here.
Photo credit: Jason Dutch, Philanthropy Age.

NHS screening kit

Fewer women take part in bowel screening

Research carried out by the Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow has revealed that fewer women take part in bowel screening than in breast or cervical screening. Read more.


Whales learn songs on shared migratory routes

New research led by scientists at St Andrews has revealed that humpback whales can learn new songs while navigating a shared migratory route. Read more.

george burns

Alumni win prestigious amateur golf titles

George Burns (pictured above), who graduated in 2018 with a first-class degree in Economics, has won the coveted 2019 Scottish Men’s Amateur Golf title. Read more.

Lukas Michel, another of our alumni, has just won the 2019 US Mid-Amateur. Lukas came here in 2015 from the University of Melbourne in an Undergraduate Exchange Program in Science.

Carol Kaufman with some of the winners

University Schoolgirls Golf Championship 2019

During the first weekend in August, 35 talented young golfers from around the world took part in the annual University of St Andrews Schoolgirls Championship here at the home of golf, competing for the Powel Cup (scratch) and Kaufman Shield (handicap). Carol Kaufman, a former Chair of the US Women’s Open and long standing supporter of the event, was able to present the prizes in person, and is pictured centre with Katy Alexander, winner of the Powell Cup (left) and Jade Tsang (right), President of the Women’s Golf Club. Read more.


Barnacle geese adapt to climate change

Researchers from the University of St Andrews and other international colleagues have found that barnacle geese have shifted their migratory route to cope with climate change. Read more.

New research on Chimpanzees

According to scientists at the University of St Andrews, the Department of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore and Leiden University in the Netherlands, the ability to detect the direction of someone’s gaze is not unique to humans. Read more.

Milly Clover and Sophie Dorothe Lieke

PLASTIC: Unwrapped

Thanks to an R&A International Scholarship, Milly Clover and Sophie Dorothe Lieke – two biology students who graduated this June – are travelling through six continents within nine months to seek solutions to plastic pollution. This project is particularly apposite given recent shocking research, and will showcase how individuals and initiatives around the globe are using plastic responsibly as a resource, rather than ignoring the problem.

Visit SaintsFunder for more information about this and other exciting projects.

Whitehorn Hall of Residence

Whitehorn Hall wins Scottish Design Award

Whitehorn Hall of Residence which opened in 2018 has won the 2019 prize in the residential category of the Scottish Design Awards. Read more.


Orangutans provide insight into evolution of human language

New research led by scientists from the University of St Andrews and Indianapolis Zoo provides an insight into the evolution of human language. Read more.

psychology staff

Psychology celebrates its golden anniversary

Psychology graduates from 1961 to 2016 gathered in St Andrews during the weekend of 23-25 August to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the department of Psychology. Professor Malcolm Jeeves, staff and alumni from each of the five decades shared stories, memories and photographs and by the end of the weekend, everyone agreed that it had felt like a family reunion. Thanks to all who attended and also to all those who got in touch. Pictured here are Professor David Perrett and his wife Anne planting a commemorative tree in St Mary’s Quad.

saint connect poster

Saint Connect has changed!

We are delighted to announce the re-launch of Saint Connect – the University of St Andrews’ exclusive global online community for networking, career mentoring and keeping up to date with what’s happening in ‘the bubble’.

Saint Connect welcomes University of St Andrews alumni, students and parents. It allows you to both re-connect with former classmates and use the trusted University of St Andrews environment to expand your professional network.

Register now for Saint Connect

You can also keep St Andrews in your pocket with a brand-new app:
Apple Store (download Graduway Community app, then search University of St Andrews), Google Play Store.
Alumni news

General Council News

The next meeting of the General Council is scheduled to take place on Saturday 30 November 2019 in Parliament Hall at 10.30am. Members will be notified closer to the time. Email:


This month we have three contributions: Susie Carr (MA 2014) describes how playing sport at St Andrews paved the way for her recent selection for the Great Britain women’s squad in the Australian Football (AFL) European Championships in October 2019; we look back at ten years of the Alex Richardson Award; and Helen Hwang describes how her Junior Year Abroad (JYA) here as a student from the University of Virginia changed her destiny.
If you have an idea for a blog post, or would like to tell your story, please contact us
Alumni clubs
View a full list of University of St Andrews Alumni Club activities
The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Beijing is nine years old! We’ve held many successful events during this time, and would like to recruit new alumni to the committee and generate some fresh ideas for our events. If you would like to help us go from strength to strength, send your CV to and add WeChat (WeChat ID: standrewsbj) as a friend. We will contact you in October.

The Berlin-chapter invites all members to find out more about the firm Babbel, its product and its engineering culture on Thursday 26 September from 6.30pm. The event will take place at Lesson Nine GmbH, Max-Beer-Straße 2, 10119 Berlin, Germany. Tickets are free and alumni interested in attending can register now at St Andrews Connect.

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Cambridge is having its AGM, followed by an informal potluck supper on Saturday 21 September from 6.30pm. Please message the Club’s Facebook page for details of the venue or if you need help with transport.

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London is holding a Welcome Drinks event for all London alumni – whether you’re new to London or you’ve been here for years – on Wednesday 9 October from 6.30pm at The Refinery Bankside, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0TF.

Come along to the first meeting of the reinvigorated University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Paris on Friday 11 October from 7.30pm at La Résidence (Refugee Food Festival) which is one of the restaurants at Ground Control, 81 rue du Charolais 75012 Paris (métro Gare de Lyon or Reuilly-Diderot or just follow platform 23 inside the Gare de Lyon).
Save the date! The Club will also be joining in the St Andrew’s day celebrations with an event on Thursday 28 November at The Highlander – a Scottish bar in Paris at 8 Rue de Nevers, 75006 Paris, France. More information to follow soon.

Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Philadelphia on Friday 27 September from 6.30pm for their Fall Happy Hour event at Philadelphia Distilling, 25 E Allen St, Philadelphia, PA 19123.

San Francisco
Join alumni from St Andrews and other UK universities on the third Tuesday of each month at the bar on the fourth floor of the University Club (800 Powell). Preferred dress code is business casual.

Western Australia
We are planning another catch-up this year around St Andrew's Day. The group is considering joining up with other like-minded souls from the Auld Country and take several tables at the St Andrews Society of WA, St Andrews Day Ceilidh on Friday 29 November in Perth. Contact Robert Malabar if you’re interested in coming.

North West Alumni Association (Manchester)
We are looking for engaged and enthusiastic alumni based across the north west to contribute to our growth. We are based in Manchester, so if you’re within travelling distance and are interested in helping us develop into an active support network for alumni of all ages, please contact us
What's on
Rosa Luxemburg

Byre World 19: Rosa Luxemburg

Byre Theatre, Wednesday 25 September, 6pm (free, but ticketed)
This biopic is a key work of feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta and charts the life of one of the twentieth century’s most iconic political figures. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Sean Allan and Dora Osborne from the School of Modern Languages.

The Handa CSTPV 25th Anniversary Lecture

Thursday 26 September, 5.15pm, School III, St Salvator’s Quad
Dr Tim Wilson, Director, The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence
Killing Strangers: How Violence Became Modern
open association poster

University of St Andrews Open Association 2019-2020

Get your creative and intellectual juices flowing with an exciting new programme of lectures, talks and classes to suit a wide range of interests and availability.

Heisenberg Ensemble

Holy Trinity Church, Sunday 29 September, 7.30pm
(tickets available on door or from Gillian Craig:

St Andrews’ professional orchestral ensemble is joined by Scottish soprano Charlotte Whittle and European Union Chamber Orchestra member Paul Livingston. The programme includes work by late eighteenth-century German composer Franz Hoffmeister and Mozart.
lady irvine

Mabel, the Principal's Wife

Monday 7 October 2019 at 5.15pm
School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, North Street, St Andrews

A lecture will be given by Julia Melvin about Julia's grandmother, Lady Irvine, entitled: 'Mabel, the Principal's Wife'.
alex and merlin on bikes

Cairo to Cape Town: Two boys on a bike for sight

School of Medicine, Friday 11 October, 5pm
In 2018, with the support of an R&A International Scholarship, University of St Andrews students Alex McMaster and Merlin Hetherington set off on a tandem to cycle the length of Africa. Their journey took them through some of the most medically under-resourced regions of the world, where they delivered training to health workers and students with the Arclight, an instrument developed for eye care in St Andrews. This is the story of their journey, the interactions they had along the way, and the struggles they encountered. The evening will also mark the launch of the latest version of the Arclight. This is a FREE event for everyone.

Public Lecture

Thursday 17 October, 5.15pm, School III, St Salvator’s Quad
‘Terrorist’ murder: the cases of Adebolajo & Adebowale [Lee Rigby] and Thomas Mair [Jo Cox] contrasted.

St Andrews Voices Festival, 17-20 October 2019

This year’s Festival runs during the day and evening and includes family concerts, opportunities to sing along and get involved, as well as free events.

See the Byre’s full programme
See the Music Centre's full programme
Alumni Authors
book cover

The Gin Clan: Scottish gins and distilleries


Fiona Laing, MA 1984

Price: hardback £11.99
Available from: Amazon

book cover

Behind the Thistle:
Playing Rugby for Scotland


Peter Burns, MA 2004

Price: paperback £12.48
Available from: Book Depository


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