University to welcome 3000 new students – and a new Rector

The University of Dundee will welcome more than 3000 new students to the city on Monday 4 September and install broadcaster Jim Spence as its new Rector.

Students have come to Dundee from all over the world for the start of the new academic year – around 150 different nationalities are represented on campus. They arrive in one of the best places in the United Kingdom to be a student, with Dundee ranked 4th in the recent National Student Survey and 6th globally for overall average satisfaction in the International Student Barometer.

The new students will be welcomed to the city at a gathering in the Caird Hall, at 11am on Monday 9 September, and the same ceremony will see Mr Spence formally installed as Rector.

The Rector is elected by students of the University, with Mr Spence being named the successor to around-the-world adventurer Mark Beaumont earlier this year.

Professor Andrew Atherton, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, will welcome the new students to Dundee.

He said, “This is one of the real highlights of the academic calendar for me. Every year the University is refreshed and strengthened by the arrival of a new generation of students, and it is great to see so many arriving in the city from around the world.

“It is not just the University but the whole city which is transformed by the return of our student population. The city also plays its role in making this one of the best places to be a student, something which I am sure our new arrivals will find in their time here.

“I am also delighted to welcome Jim Spence in to our University community. I am sure Jim will represent the students’ interests and take a great interest in their activities and achievements.”

For Mr Spence, best known as a Scottish sports broadcaster, this is a return to familiar ground. He graduated in Law from the University in 1986.

He said, “I am delighted to be back and still surprised to have the honour of being the Rector of the University.”

Following his installation, Mr Spence will be taken on the traditional `drag’ by students, which sees the Rector being transported through the city centre with stops at hostelries along the way.

Josh Connor, President of Dundee University Students’ Association, said, "This is a really special day for us all here at the University as we welcome our new students. They have come to Dundee at a really exciting time for the city and the University.

"I'm also delighted to be able to welcome born and bred Dundonian, Jim Spence, as our new Rector. The energy he has already shown towards his new role has been astonishing and I'm really looking forward to working with him to enhance the overall student experience.”