The number of postgraduate students at the University is in decline, a trend which the University hopes to reverse in the coming years.
The fall in postgraduate numbers has been attributed to a reduction of applications from the international market, especially from China.
As part of their strategic plan, the University aims to increase the number of postgraduate students until they make up 25 per cent of the total student population, according to the minutes of the latest University court meeting.
The fall in postgraduate student applications may be attributed to the tightening of UK immigration rules for entrant students. New legislation, which came into effect between March and July 2014, makes applying for student visas more difficult. This legislation also favours those who come from higher income backgrounds, with an increase in the amount of money needed to secure a student visa.
Postgraduate students are also currently not guaranteed University accommodation.
The postgraduate convener, Tania Strützel, told The Saint: “We welcome the decision to grow and foster our postgraduate community in St Andrews that is an important contributor to the excellent research environment in St Andrews.”
Ms Strützel continued to say that this goal can only be achieved if provisions for accommodation and study space are “severely expanded.”
She said: “While St Leonard’s College is the home college for postgraduates offering a range of events throughout the year, it lacks a much needed physical space for the postgraduate community to form a strong identity.
“In comparison to other universities, we are currently unable to offer dedicated postgraduate taught study space and guaranteed accommodation to all postgraduate entrant students due to the constraints of the town. These constraints need to be taken into consideration when expanding the numbers and we look forward to being involved in discussions with the University about how to address these concerns.”
The University declined to comment on the matter.