University of St Andrews – Scotland’s first university

University of St Andrews – Scotland’s first university

October 11, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


We live in a beautiful part of the world.
Scotland’s a glorious place to study and I’m always urging my students to take time and
make the most of what Scotland has to offer. It’s unique that we have a town that is our
campus, and so we can take advantage of this absolutely beautiful place. You’ve got all
the old buildings of the university. It’s a small town, with big town amenities.
So there’s nice restaurants, nice grocery stores. St Andrews offers a very high quality of life
to students. It’s a place where you can get outside, enjoy nature. It’s just lovely to walk along those old streets,
and the people are so nice. So it’s a great place to live. You can really feel how old this town is.
All the different traditions. The way we wear our gowns. It’s really nice to be a part of.
It’s something you’d never have anywhere else. It’s special. At the same time we can use
all these wonderful facilities. Our students are some of the most intelligent
people in the world and they are very enthusiastic about their learning, so I think we’ve got
a particular intensity of intellectual endeavour and ambition and that’s probably one of the
thing that really drives our excellence. I think we’re definitely proud of our status
in the UK. I think if you look at the national student survey satisfaction study, they say
that we’ve ranked first or second for the last three of four years. That’s really important
to us and we take a great deal of pride in that. We combine world class research with a passion
for teaching. You may be coming into contact with a world
leading academic whose books you’ve just been reading the week before and actually they
are the ones who are going to be carrying you through your undergraduate careers. The great thing about St Andrews is the flexibility
of the degree. So when we enter in first and second years, we get to choose up to three
subjects. And among the three subjects we can carry on with one or two into honours
years. Which is our third and fourth years. A lot of our students discover that they actually
really like one of the other subjects that they took, and that they would like to switch
their affiliations or their endeavours to one of those other subjects or include it
in their degree for longer and we allow that. There’s an awful lot of choice. So students
can really tailor their studies for the careers that they want to pursue later. The fact that the classes are so small and
the lectures tend to be really quite intimate gives you a great opportunity to get to know
the lecturers, and the rest of your peers. I love it. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere
else. The departments not too big so you kinda get to know everyone really easily and everyone’s
really friendly and you just get involved in everything and it’s so easy to get involved
in loads of different things. What welcomes you here to hall. Lots of people
in brightly coloured t-shirts smiling and telling you that you’ve arrived home. It’s amazing. I mean, I could not have asked
for a better room than this. I could not have asked for a better room mate or a better community
to be living in. The world comes to St Andrews. Just a classroom
with fifteen students in it will have several nationalities represented and that makes for
a very stimulating learning environment. It’s incredibly enriching. We draw on the
diverse experiences of students. We ask about their perspective on the world, and this actually
works pretty well in terms of giving a wide variety of view points to the students that
we have here. One of the great strengths of the St Andrews
system is that we really do encourage students to participate in studying abroad if it meets
with their academic requirements. Although we have wonderful staff, and great
facilities, and so on, I have to admit that quite often it’s the place they fall in love
with first because it is a beautiful town and I think a lot of students who come here
can imagine themselves living here and enjoying it, and then when you when you add into that
the fact that they will have a terrific educational experience that’s what makes them really decide
that this is for them. I really wanted to come here. This was my
top choice. Even for me it was kind of like one of those dream come true moments. So yeah,
I feel really fortunate that I got here.