Black and working class... would I fit in at St. Andrews?

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Anonymous #1
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I’m a black female from the “poorer” parts of London and my family are middle class. It’s just my mum, brother and I.
St Andrews is an incredible uni but I do worry that I’m not the type of person for that university. I’d be moving 5 hours from home - I want to be somewhere where I’ll be comfortable and happy.
Attending a uni that is primarily white, where black people have been subject to racist abuse (check out the Students of St Andrews Instagram page) and there are more students from private schools like Eton as opposed to BAME students admitted every year for undergrad....you can say I’m reluctant.
I’d appreciate it if anyone could change my mind, or not, I’m up for any valuable insight.
(re racism point: I’m aware racist incidents can happen at any university. But the Instagram page has made it more “real”. Plus I do feel if that does happen to me at St Andrews I wouldn’t be supported well).
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m a black female from the “poorer” parts of London and my family are middle class. It’s just my mum, brother and I.
St Andrews is an incredible uni but I do worry that I’m not the type of person for that university. I’d be moving 5 hours from home - I want to be somewhere where I’ll be comfortable and happy.
Attending a uni that is primarily white, where black people have been subject to racist abuse (check out the Students of St Andrews Instagram page) and there are more students from private schools like Eton as opposed to BAME students admitted every year for undergrad....you can say I’m reluctant.
I’d appreciate it if anyone could change my mind, or not, I’m up for any valuable insight.
(re racism point: I’m aware racist incidents can happen at any university. But the Instagram page has made it more “real”. Plus I do feel if that does happen to me at St Andrews I wouldn’t be supported well).
what racism was on the instagram page? there hasn't been a notable racist incident at st andrews for years as far as i know.

the lack of black people in st andrews is one of the main talking points at the moment and there is a strong sentiment in the air from everyone of wanting that to change and to welcome more

the Prinicpal has actually been bombarded with apparently hundreds of emails and petitions calling for more black lecturers and students - she sent round a blanket email saying she can't respond to everyone individually!
Last edited by A Rolling Stone; 4 weeks ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
what racism was on the instagram page? there hasn't been a notable racist incident at st andrews for years as far as i know.

the lack of black people in st andrews is one of the main talking points at the moment and there is a strong sentiment in the air from everyone of wanting that to change and to welcome more

the Prinicpal has actually been bombarded with apparently hundreds of emails and petitions calling for more black lecturers and students - she sent round a blanket email saying she can't respond to everyone individually!

https://instagram.com/studentsofstan...=1tgv7vug06fqx - there’s the link.

That’s actually really great to hear, thanks for that. It’s comforting that the majority want change! I did read at one point that there were calls to remove names from applications or make them anonymous somehow to give black applicants more “security” that their application would be considered fairly, I don’t suppose you know if that happened or not?
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Anonymous #1
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That’s really good to hear, thanks loads for that info. It’s comforting that the majority of people want change!
I read that a little while back there were calls for applications to St Andrews to be made anonymous somehow so black students feel more secure that their applications would be considered fairly...I don’t suppose you know whether that’s happened or will be happening?
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Anonymous #1
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Sorry, I can’t seem to post the link to the Instagram page, it keeps crashing and telling me this forum can’t be found unfortunately. It’s @ studentsofstandrews if you want to find it still?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Sorry, I can’t seem to post the link to the Instagram page, it keeps crashing and telling me this forum can’t be found unfortunately. It’s @ studentsofstandrews if you want to find it still?
oh, apparently my previous attempts with the link in it is being “reviewed” so they might come on here in a bit? Idk... I’m new to the student room! :/
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m a black female from the “poorer” parts of London and my family are middle class. It’s just my mum, brother and I.
St Andrews is an incredible uni but I do worry that I’m not the type of person for that university. I’d be moving 5 hours from home - I want to be somewhere where I’ll be comfortable and happy.
Attending a uni that is primarily white, where black people have been subject to racist abuse (check out the Students of St Andrews Instagram page) and there are more students from private schools like Eton as opposed to BAME students admitted every year for undergrad....you can say I’m reluctant.
I’d appreciate it if anyone could change my mind, or not, I’m up for any valuable insight.
(re racism point: I’m aware racist incidents can happen at any university. But the Instagram page has made it more “real”. Plus I do feel if that does happen to me at St Andrews I wouldn’t be supported well).
Don't allow that to stop you.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
Don't allow that to stop you.
Thank you, that’s kind of you. I know I shouldn’t, it’s just hard to ignore all the factors telling me that I should.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you, that’s kind of you. I know I shouldn’t, it’s just hard to ignore all the factors telling me that I should.
If you continue to do so, you will never get ahead in life because there will often (if not always) be something holding you back. The top unis such as Oxbridge, Durham, LSE are also stacked with kids from Eton, Harrow and Rugby. It does not mean that you cannot strive to have a seat at the table. All the best.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
If you continue to do so, you will never get ahead in life because there will often (if not always) be something holding you back. The top unis such as Oxbridge, Durham, LSE are also stacked with kids from Eton, Harrow and Rugby. It does not mean that you cannot strive to have a seat at the table. All the best.
I definitely needed to hear that, you’re 100% right. Thank you so much.
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Anonymous #2
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You know that that's not a verified Instagram account, right? With so many fake accounts out there, it could be an account to taint St Andrews' reputation.

Like Rolling Stone said, there hasn't been a notable racist incident at St Andrews for many many years.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Anonymous)
https://instagram.com/studentsofstan...=1tgv7vug06fqx - there’s the link.

That’s actually really great to hear, thanks for that. It’s comforting that the majority want change! I did read at one point that there were calls to remove names from applications or make them anonymous somehow to give black applicants more “security” that their application would be considered fairly, I don’t suppose you know if that happened or not?
not sure but that would apply to UCAS as a whole rather than one uni specifically and i strongly believe it isn't necessary - the main reason for the lack of black people in st andrews (nb. it's the #1 most diverse uni in the UK in terms of nationalities) is because most of them come from places like Inner London and they wouldn't want to travel all the way up to Fife to study, especially in a small, idyllic town when most are familiar with the big city life.

in terms of lecturers you can understand how it is even more of a problem - many might have families and they would not want to go through the upheaval of their whole family moving to St Andrews and having to find schools with places etc
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
not sure but that would apply to UCAS as a whole rather than one uni specifically and i strongly believe it isn't necessary - the main reason for the lack of black people in st andrews (nb. it's the #1 most diverse uni in the UK in terms of nationalities) is because most of them come from places like Inner London and they wouldn't want to travel all the way up to Fife to study, especially in a small, idyllic town when most are familiar with the big city life.

in terms of lecturers you can understand how it is even more of a problem - many might have families and they would not want to go through the upheaval of their whole family moving to St Andrews and having to find schools with places etc
Fair enough, I’m considering King’s College London for that reason actually so I guess you’re right. I actually got in contact with the uni about two or three weeks ago (there’s a thing where you can ask students questions about the uni). I got a response today and my questions ended up being sent to an admissions officer because of the ones about diversity which I felt was rather nice of them. They addressed the nameless applications as something they’ve been considering and the details of that cannot be shared but will be “shortly”. They actually reassured me quite a bit; it helped me believe what you said about St Andrews warning to make a change in regards to diversity. I’m not 100% sure but definitely more sure than I was this time yesterday.
Thanks again.
Curious to know whether you had a look at the Instagram page?
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londonmyst
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Just trust your gut instinct and feelings about whether you can put up with the cold weather for four years.
My best friend turned down a place at St Andrews seven years ago, her reasons were nothing to do with social class or ancestral heritage.
She is a dual national of Britain & India; found the the atmosphere a bit weird, weather unpleasant, temperature conditions too cold and wasn't keen on the four year undergrad.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Fair enough, I’m considering King’s College London for that reason actually so I guess you’re right. I actually got in contact with the uni about two or three weeks ago (there’s a thing where you can ask students questions about the uni). I got a response today and my questions ended up being sent to an admissions officer because of the ones about diversity which I felt was rather nice of them. They addressed the nameless applications as something they’ve been considering and the details of that cannot be shared but will be “shortly”. They actually reassured me quite a bit; it helped me believe what you said about St Andrews warning to make a change in regards to diversity. I’m not 100% sure but definitely more sure than I was this time yesterday.
Thanks again.
Curious to know whether you had a look at the Instagram page?
the uni does this takeover thing where they let a student or a group of students take over the account for a day or something, and a one wanted to highlight that racism doesn't just occur in the US by giving that example they heard/experienced

the student body is extremely liberal and will be so welcoming to you. although you will definitely notice the lack of black students, it won't affect how people treat you - St Andrews' USPs are the traditions (eg. academic families) and community that you get in a place like that, and they are perfect for making sure everybody is well integrated

i heard one working class white girl say that it took her a year before she felt she fitted in - but that could be more to do with her as she is well settled now!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by londonmyst)
Just trust your gut instinct and feelings about whether you can put up with the cold weather for four years.
My best friend turned down a place at St Andrews seven years ago, her reasons were nothing to do with social class or ancestral heritage.
She is a dual national of Britain & India; found the the atmosphere a bit weird, weather unpleasant, temperature conditions too cold and wasn't keen on the four year undergrad.
Thanks for the advice. I can’t judge the atmosphere yet as i haven’t been (hoping the September open day goes ahead but who knows) but I think I’ll be okay with the weather and temperature - imo the beauty of the place will make up for it the four year undergrad is one thing about St Andrews and just all Scottish unis that appeals to me! I’m a very indecisive person so it’ll be nice that I’ll be able to study some other subjects I enjoy/am interested in. But I definitely get that there’s more factors I should consider
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
the uni does this takeover thing where they let a student or a group of students take over the account for a day or something, and a one wanted to highlight that racism doesn't just occur in the US by giving that example they heard/experienced

the student body is extremely liberal and will be so welcoming to you. although you will definitely notice the lack of black students, it won't affect how people treat you - St Andrews' USPs are the traditions (eg. academic families) and community that you get in a place like that, and they are perfect for making sure everybody is well integrated

i heard one working class white girl say that it took her a year before she felt she fitted in - but that could be more to do with her as she is well settled now!
Ah right.
Awh well I’m really glad to hear that - as long as me being a ‘minority’ doesn’t lead to any negative experiences then I’ll be more than happy!
I definitely get why, uni is a massive change and I’m sure the uniqueness of St Andrews, although that makes it great can also make it a little harder to settle in than if she’d went to, idk, Manchester or something. Your insight has been so helpful, thank you
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Blmyes
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U will stick out
Its a sea of whitee

Stick with london black unis
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Blmyes)
U will stick out
Its a sea of whitee

Stick with london black unis
London black unis....maybe just say London unis. But I understand what you’re getting at and I agree. Universities in London are naturally and actively more diverse than St Andrews, it’s a fact really. Thank you for your input.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
You know that that's not a verified Instagram account, right? With so many fake accounts out there, it could be an account to taint St Andrews' reputation.

Like Rolling Stone said, there hasn't been a notable racist incident at St Andrews for many many years.
Really? It seemed to be genuine, especially when you look through and see the posts they’ve made previously but you’re right, especially as i don’t think it’s affiliated with the actual uni. Thanks for the heads up
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