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Student conduct

As members of the University community, and the wider St Andrews town community, it is expected that students will behave appropriately, with due care, consideration and respect to others, including staff, students or members of the wider community.  High standards of student behaviour contribute to:

  • The health and safety of all students, staff, residents and visitors
  • An environment which is conducive to academic achievement
  • The personal growth of students within the community
  • A sense of fairness and respect for self, others and the environment
  • Enhancing moral principles and community standards of good citizenship

All students at the University of St Andrews must declare that they agree to the Sponsio Academica when they enrol at the University via the online matriculation process:

We students who set down our names hereunder in all good faith make a solemn promise that we shall show due deference to our teachers in all matters relating to order and good conduct; that we shall be subject to the authority of the Senatus Academicus and shall, whatever be the position we attain hereafter, promote, so far as lies in our power, the profit and the interest of our University of St Andrews. Further, we recognize that, if any of us conducts themselves in an unbecoming or disorderly manner or shows insufficient diligence in their studies and, though admonished, does not improve, it is within the power of the Senatus Academicus to inflict on such students a fitting penalty or even expel them from the University.

The Sponsio Academica is an undertaking that recognises the core principle of respect for others and for the values of the University, to which we hold firm in this community.  By signing up to matriculation, students undertake a solemn promise to conduct themselves in line with the following principles of respect that are valid in all of their activities – academic or non-academic, and in relation to their fellow students, members of staff and the townspeople of St Andrews. 

In their studies, and in all aspects of their daily lives, they are asked to uphold the following promises:
We shall hold true to the principles of honesty and integrity in all our dealings with others in this community.
We shall conduct ourselves in a reliable and punctual fashion.
We shall be mindful of others’ circumstances, interacting with tolerance, politeness and in a spirit of mutual support within this community.

These standards should be upheld both within and outside of University buildings and grounds. 

Where students live in University residences this declaration extends to showing respect to room-mates and neighbours, as well as the staff within the Residences.  Specific guidelines for behaviour within residences will be outlined by the staff and included in the accommodation contract.  There might be particular times of the year when key events such as examinations will lead to more strict regulations with regards to behaviour.  These are put in place for the benefits of all students.

Where students have entered into private accommodation contracts, the student should honour such contracts in the manner befitting a student at this University and also as an independent adult.  The University is often requested to intervene in regard to such contracts.  A mediation service can be provided and advice for students on accommodation issues can be found at Student Services and the Students' Association Student Advocate.  The University has agreed a Good Neighbour Compact (PDF, 185 KB) with local Residents Associations which provides common sense advise on living in the Community.

However, the University cannot intervene with respect to these private contracts.  The exceptions to this occur when:

a)  Antisocial behaviour is reported to the University via Police Scotland or Fife Council.  Students may be reminded of their responsibilities and further incident may lead to action under the policies on Academic Appeals and Student Conduct.
b)  Landlords and letting agents may request contact information in order to initiate legal proceedings.  Although the Data Protection Act prohibits the sharing of personal information to such parties, in the case of legal proceedings, the University may be bound to disclose such information.

The Sponsio also decrees that students should show due diligence in their studies.  This extends to understanding the regulations for each degree course/module, including course requirements in terms of attendance and submission of assessed work.  Students who fail to do ultimately risk termination of studies.  In short, students who do not meet course requirements will not be entitled to continue their studies or to graduate with a degree.