University of St Andrews (UK) St Andrews students’ unique chance to meet Scottish Parliament committee

Politicians from one of Holyrood’s most influential committees looked to widen engagement with communities across the country when they visited St Andrews this week.

Members of the cross-party Committee on the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture, met with students and staff from St Andrews’ world-renowned School of International Relations, during a visit to the University on Monday.

The committee heard from Professor Phillips O’Brien, one of the foremost authorities on military strategy, on the war in Ukraine, and learned more about what is going on within Ukraine itself from British Academy Research Fellow, Dr Taras Fedirko, a Ukrainian national, who is looking at the information economy of war.

They also discussed the committee’s inquiry into the Scottish Government’s International Work and the University’s role in Scotland’s newest political think tank, the Scottish Council on Global Affairs (SCGA). They talked about the role the SCGA has in encouraging discussion and debate on issues including Scotland’s relationship with the ‘High North’, Baltic and Nordic countries, as well as feminist foreign policy.

The MSPs also met with St Andrews students to discuss their views on Scotland’s Place in the World, the impact of the UK leaving the EU, as well as finding out about their experiences of life in St Andrews and getting their thoughts on how we can do more to promote Scotland on the global stage.

Commenting on the visit, University of St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone, said: “I was so pleased to welcome members of the committee to St Andrews and to give our staff and students the chance to engage with them on the international report as well as gaining an insight into the committee’s work and focus more generally.

“As a world-leading university, one of our fundamental goals is to work with international partners to advance knowledge and address global challenges. Taking a leading role in the Scottish Council on Global Affairs and discussing and debating Scotland’s place in the world via our Scotland’s Future Series project, are just some of the ways in which we are involved in promoting Scotland on the world stage.”