The University of St. Andrews is a world-leading institute in IR and is increasingly interested in focusing on the field of small state studies. Its broad scope of expertise was key in the development of Pillar 4: Promoting sustainable development in small states. The university also provided teachers and speakers to the intensive study programmes organized by the consortium and the multiplier events.
The University of St. Andrews is a public research university in St. Andrews in Scotland. It is the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and is made up from a variety of institutions, including three constituent colleges and 18 academic schools organized into four Faculties. The independent IpsosMORI National Student Surveys in 2006–2008 commissioned by HEFCE placed it joint third among the UK universities. The latest national UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) sponsored by the UK government, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent ranked St Andrews as 16th by grade point average and quality index across the units of assessment it submitted. The 2014 CWTS Leiden rankings, which ranks universities by contribution to international scientific journals, placed St Andrews 39th in the world, ranking it 5th domestically. Nearly 86% of its graduates obtain a First Class or an Upper Second Class Honours degree.
The School of International Relations at St. Andrews is the only one of its kind in Scotland and is recognised globally for the exceptional quality of its research and teaching. With expertise in area studies – including Africa, Europe and the Middle East – foreign policy, international organisations and regimes, peace and conflict studies, political theory, and terrorism and political violence, the School offers a friendly, intellectually stimulating and vibrant environment in which students can assess developments in the international system. In the latest UK research assessment exercise, the School’s research overall was awarded 72% in the top two categories – either ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) – and this included 90% of its impact cases and 100% of its research environment. Moreover, the School submitted the vast majority of its eligible staff for assessment – 89% – confirming its standing as a leading research intensive department where teaching excellence is informed by wide-ranging research. On the basis of its overall ‘Research Power’ results, therefore, the School is ranked in the top ten departments of Politics and International Relations in the UK.
Ian Taylor is Professor in International Relations and African Politics at St Andrews and also Chair Professor in the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China – the highest rank a non-Chinese academic can hold at a Chinese university. He is also Professor Extraordinary in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, an Honorary Professor at the Institute of African Studies, China, and a Visiting Scholar at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda. Focusing largely on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) he has authored 8 academic books, edited another 8 and has published over 70 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, over 70 chapters in books and numerous working papers, reports, op-eds, review articles, encyclopedia entries, book reviews etc. He was recently described as “one of the most authoritative academics on SSA IR” (Cambridge Review of International Affairs, vol. 25, no 1, 2012, p. 171).
Prior to joining St Andrews in 2004 he taught African politics and history and various IR and Development subjects for four years at the University of Botswana.