little dog in red gown
Photo credit: Gayle McIntyre, University of St Andrews

St Andrews in the News

July 2020

Welcome to the July edition of St Andrews in the News. We’re looking forward to next week’s Class of 2020 conferrals and to welcoming our newest graduates into the St Andrews alumni community.

We hope you enjoy everything we have to offer this month from news to watch-again Saints Talk lectures and, as always, alumni and student stories and experiences. Please contact us if you would like to contribute your story, video or podcast to share with our online community!
View a full list of news from around the University
steps down to beach in evening

Appeals update

This year we have asked for your help as never before because we are facing challenges we have never faced before. Your response has been completely overwhelming.

To date, you have helped us to raise just over £977,000 for the Covid-19 appeal – a staggering amount. With your help we can reach the £1 million target.

By donating, you are helping us to support our students, the University and the community. This is even more important as we enter Phase 3 in Scotland: loosening of restrictions brings a fresh set of challenges. Your generosity never ceases to amaze us. Quite simply – thank you.

Thank you also for your donations to the Wardlaw Scholarship appeal. Our returning Scholars are beyond grateful for both your financial support and for your advice and kind words.

Finally, the donations and heartwarming messages you have sent as a result of the supporting students appeal are helping us through one of our most testing times. If it’s possible and you haven’t yet had the chance please help us – the issues created by the pandemic will be with us for the foreseeable future.
st salvator's

St Andrews top for student experience

According to The National Student Survey 2020 the University of St Andrews is top in the UK for student academic experience. Read more.
Sally Mapstone

Principal elected Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland

Principal Professor Sally Mapstone has been elected as the new Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland for a period of two years from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2022. Read more.

Equally Safe St Andrews

The University of St Andrews requires that every member of our community treats others with dignity, courtesy and respect. The University will not tolerate any forms of unacceptable behaviour, abuse or violence. Read more.
Professor John Miller, Sandy Coffin, Dr Bede Williams And Professor John Wallace

StAMP of success

The St Andrews Music Participation (StAMP) scheme – initiated by the Laidlaw Music Centre - has offered 60 local children the chance to learn a musical instrument. Read more and listen to Bede Williams and John Wallace speaking about this successful project in Jamie MacDougall’s Classic Unwrapped on BBC Radio Scotland. From left: Professor John Miller, Sandy Coffin, Dr Bede Williams And Professor John Wallace.

Graduate outcomes

Graduate Outcomes Survey

If you finished your course 15 months ago, you will be contacted soon and asked to complete the Graduate Outcomes survey. This helps to provide information about where you are in your career and to inspire the next generation of students about their future careers.

You can find out more about the survey. To make sure that you receive it, keep your contact details up to date with Alumni Relations.

When you are completing the survey, please give as much detailed and accurate information as possible – especially about your job title and duties.

Remember that the Careers Centre is still here to help you to progress in your early graduate career with all sorts of advice and CV checks. Visit our alumni careers web page for inspiration and support as a recent St Andrews graduate.

You can also visit our dedicated careers and alumni networking platform to keep up to date with the latest news from the Careers Centre and to find out more about how you can volunteer your time to help our student community.
group of singers

65 years of the Ren Group/STARS

Calling all past and present members of the St Andrews Ren Group/STARS! Do join us to celebrate our 65th anniversary in September 2020 by singing along in an online performance of Palestrina’s Alma Redemptoris Mater on 27 September. Find out more about this and other events on the dedicated website. Please note that the larger, face-to-face celebrations have been postponed until September 2021.
st andrews prize logo

Saathi goes from strength to strength

Congratulations to Saathi – winner of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2019 – on being selected as Health Category Winner in the 2020 Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) Global Final. Saathi was one of only seven outstanding category winners selected from 2,400 start-ups from 87 countries for its development of a biodegradable and compostable sanitary product. Find out more about Saathi's story.

Blackbaud: data breach

You may have read in the news recently of a data breach experienced by universities in the UK, US and Canada who use the services of Blackbaud to manage alumni and donor data. While the University of St Andrews does make use of Blackbaud’s services, we do not use the hosted version and, as a result, Blackbaud has assured us that we have not been impacted by this breach. We take the protection of your data very seriously – please refer to our Development Privacy Policy for further information.

Events listings

We want you to keep up to date with all of our latest events, so check your inbox for a dedicated events email starting from the beginning of August. You can also find out what’s on by looking at the events listing on our website.
students in graduation gowns
Lots of you have also been sharing your experiences with us through blogs and videos. We hope you enjoy this selection from Fiona Croal (MA 2019) whose year as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra intern has changed her career direction, Alanood Sinjab (MA 2017) who started her law career in the middle of the pandemic and Gillian Chu who describes how the pandemic has impacted her PhD research in Hong Kong.
aerial view of north street
Forrest Pando (MLitt Film Studies student) and his wife Zaynah Akeel (Film Studies student) created a beautiful video to accompany the poem After Many Days by R F Murray as a lockdown project.

If you would like to share a blog, video or podcast, please email us at
aerial view of st andrews
Our alumni, staff and supporters are among those making the news locally, nationally and internationally. Let us know if you spot any more 'Saints' in the news at

Dr Fiona Hill (MA 1989) features in an in-depth interview in The New Yorker.

Stephen Reicher – Bishop Wardlaw Professor from the School of Psychology and Neuroscience and a member of the Sage subcommittee advising on behavioural science – wrote an opinion piece published in the Guardian.

Dr Richard Bates and Tim Kinnaird – both of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences – are part of a team that has discovered a major new prehistoric monument a short distance away from Stonehenge.
Saints Talk graphic

Saints Talk

There have now been three lectures in our popular online Saints Talk series. If you didn’t manage to watch this month’s two lectures first time round, you can watch them again:

The Neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease by Professor Frank Gunn-Moore.
The Christianisation of Greece by Professor Rebecca Sweetman.
Culture at Home graphic


#CultureAtHome continues to provide a smorgasbord of workshops, access to our museums online and musical performances during our lockdown.

The Byre@Home
Join the Byre@Home for the online cultural pick of the week

Museum blog
Read about the histories of our favourite museum objects.

Wee Wardlaws
Join in at 10am on 7 August and 4 September

Wellbeing Wednesday
Join us at 1pm for our next events on 5 August, 19 August and 16 September.
Alumni Playlist graphic

Alumni Spotify Playlist

We have had a great response so far to our Alumni Playlist, which already has 256 songs and 481 followers!

Indulge in some nostalgia by going to our Alumni Playlist on Spotify and adding the song that transports you back to your days at St Andrews. Remember to let us know what makes it special to you.
book cover

Scotland's Science


John Mellis (PhD 1984)


book cover

The Exchange Trip


Alison Wainwright (MA 1999)

Students on a rock at the beach


Most Alumni and Club events have been cancelled for the time being, so why not use this time to reconnect with former classmates? Get in touch and we will be happy to pass on messages and promote any Club events you are holding. Look out for our schedule of online events for alumni and friends across the world!

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Please encourage anyone you know who isn’t receiving this communication to sign up and stay connected!

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Crawford Building, 91 North Street
St Andrews, KY16 9AJ

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