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圣安德鲁斯大学会是苏格兰的“常春藤”吗?

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2014-10-01 来源: 新东方前途出国


摘要: All I think, as I stroll around looking at the 500+ years’old buildings at St. Andrews, stop at the monumental and hauntingly beautiful ruins of The Cathedral next to the sea, see the diversity of students from all parts of the world tucked away in this small little town…what a nice option this could be. All I ask is that you just think about it. If I had known...I would...


前途出国外联部总监、美国哈佛大学人类发展与心理学专业硕士、本文作者萧明灏

      University of St. Andrews: The “Ivy League” in Scotland?

      I have been anticipating the visit to the University of St. Andrews (St. Andrews) for several months, and I will fully admit that the key reason was to see the fairy tale story where an ordinary (well off) young female university student meets her Prince, and literary, HRH (High Royal Highness) Prince William. Yup, forgive me…I grew up on Disney princess movies.

      Arriving on a fresh and sunny Monday morning, you could see the blend of architecture from when the University was founded back in the 15th century next to modern day structures.

  Photo 1: Modern mixed with historic (photo on the left: Chenggang Zhou; photo on the right: Ming-Hao Shiao)

      Part of the four ancient universities in Scotland (see Table 1 below), it is not hard to see the appeal of this small town of 20,000 burgeoning with St. Andrews' students and faculty.

      Table 1

      Founding details of the oldest (ancient) universities in the British Isles (including modern day Ireland)

Year of Founding

Institution

Location

1096

University of Oxford

England

1209

University of Cambridge

England

1413

University of St Andrews

Scotland

1451

University of Glasgow

Scotland

1495

University of Aberdeen

Scotland

1582

University of Edinburgh

Scotland

1592

University of Dublin

Ireland

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_university

      With the university campus spread across this historic town, what I learned surprisingly is that not only does St. Andrews recruit one of the highest percentages of international students – 30% or 2,400 students representing over 100 countries – but also, the largest international student population is not from China. Chinese students from China are not even the second largest.

      In fact the number one and two international student populations are from the U.S. and Germany, respectively, followed by China. There you have it – one university which is not busting at its seams with Chinese students. In fact, if a Chinese student is having trouble deciding between the US and the UK then perhaps St. Andrews provides the best of both worlds, along with strong academic rigor,

      not to mention the idyllic and seaside town as a backdrop.

      Photo 2: In between classes (students at University of St. Andrews). Photo: Ming-Hao Shiao

      So what makes St. Andrews so appealing to these other groups of students, especially the population of students from the U.S. which numbers over 1,000? Many reasons are shared, of course – ranging from the desire for being in a different country, to finding out more about one’s Scottish roots, to the one I found to be quite pragmatic – many U.S. students and families see St. Andrews as a strong alternative to the U.S. Ivy League, especially when it comes to considering the financial outlay. Digging a little deeper, I had to admit that with everthing that I saw at the university and its amenities, it sure may be a strong consideration for future international students. Table 2 shows from the viewpoint of a U.S. student, the tuition comparison between the top 20 universities in the US (which includes all the Ivy Leagues) according to U.S. News and World Report rankings compared with the top 10 UK universities according to the latest (UK) Guardian University rankings. Let the data speak for itself.

      Table 2

      Tuition comparison between Top 20 U.S. Universities and Top 10 UK Universities based on tuition from the perspective of a U.S. student. Note: Tuition figures in US Dollars

      Certainly, there are dozens of factors to consider when choosing which university to apply to and ultimately attend. I am not stating that financial consideration is the first priority. All I think, as I stroll around looking at the 500+ years’old buildings at St. Andrews, stop at the monumental and hauntingly beautiful ruins of The Cathedral next to the sea, see the diversity of students from all parts of the world tucked away in this small little town…what a nice option this could be. All I ask is that you just think about it. If I had known...I would...

      Photo 3: Panoramic view of The Cathedral of St. Andrew (ruined Roman Catholic Church). Photo: Ming-Hao Shiao

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