It has been a surreal year, where so many things we used to take for granted have changed – some perhaps forever. But the creativity of our students, their resilience in the face of adversity and their indomitable spirit have remained constant during this time of flux. They continue to light up our beautiful medieval town with their youth, wit and joie de vivre.
This is all the more remarkable because 2020 has probably been one of the most difficult years our students have had to face.
The pandemic has ushered in a new wave of unemployment, redundancies and general financial insecurity, with the economic disruption disproportionately affecting the lives of low-income families. As a result, the University has seen a 17% increase in scholarship applications, and we expect this to rise next year as the impact continues.
These obstacles don’t stop during the holiday period. In normal years the majority of students would return home to celebrate the festive season with family and friends. But this is not a normal year and potentially up to 20% of our students will remain in St Andrews. This figure is increasing daily as students' travel plans change, flight costs increase and return travel restrictions remain uncertain.
We have put ourselves in their shoes, polished up our creativity and have devised an exciting programme of Christmas Can Do events that includes everything from a 12 Days of Christmas Festive Photography competition, to PGA instructor-led group golf lessons for beginners, to a plastic-free presents workshop – not forgetting a festive brunch in the Quad with reindeer. All available common areas will be opened to allow for socially-distanced, safe meeting spaces.
We know how lucky we are to have such engaged and proactive alumni, parents and friends. Please – if you can – show the students staying here over the festive season and the students who have the talent but not the financial resources to study here that the St Andrews Can Do spirit is alive and well.
Thank you for considering making a donation.
Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season.
Vice-Principal Education (Proctor)
Even if you are not in a position to make a gift, please visit our website at https://sparc.st-andrews.ac.uk/ to check that the contact information we hold is correct.
Data and Privacy Notice: Please be assured that information will be held and used in strict accordance with our Development Privacy Notice and any mailing and email preferences of which you have made us aware. Accordingly, based on your preferences, your information may be used to keep you up to date with news and developments at the University, including: University, alumni and supporter news; information about events and reunions; fundraising campaigns; and networking, career and volunteering opportunities. Further details of how we make use of your personal data and protect your privacy are available in our Development Privacy Notice: www.st-andrews.ac.uk/development/your-data-and-privacy/. A printed copy is also available on request.
Image credit: Gayle McIntyre