Nations in Scottish universities

Nations are student divisions at some of the ancient universities of Scotland.

Nations were a characteristic of some of the ancient universities and have gradually decreased in significance in recent times. As the newest of the ancient universities, nations never existed at the University of Edinburgh, and were abolished at St Andrews following discussions at the Royal Commission on the Universities of Scotland, which later led to the Universities (Scotland) Acts.[1][2]

Student nations continued into modern times at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Glasgow for the specific purpose of electing a Rector of the university.

Contents

St Andrews

The University of St Andrews, in common with continental universities at the time of its founding, was divided into nations each presided over by a Procurator. The four nations were originally Albany, Angus, Lothian and Britain covering approximately North West, North East, South East and South West Scotland. Later, the original Albany was renamed Fife, while Britain became Albany and included the Western Isles and all places outside of Scotland.[3]

The four nations each chose an “intrant”, who in turn chose the Lord Rector. At that time the duties of Rector were similar to those of the Principal of the university today. In case of a tie, the decision was left to the outgoing Lord Rector. [4]

The use of the nations system for rectorial elections was discontinued after the national establishment of elected Rectors under the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858.

Glasgow

At the University of Glasgow the use of nations continued until 1977 for the election of the university's Lord Rector. The University has four nations, originally called Clydesdale), Teviotdale, Albany and Rothesay, and later as Clydesdale (Glottiana), Lothian, Transforthana (land over the Forth, essentially Albany) and Rothesay. Respectively, their heraldic symbols are: a two headed bird over crossed tools, an anchor over crossed tools, a horn over crossed tools and a sailing ship over crossed tools.

Three of the 'nations' consisted of defined areas in Scotland, with Loudoniana consisting of students from all other places.[5] The heraldic symbols of the nations can be seen in the stonework of a number of university buildings, including the Glasgow University Union and the chapel, under the Latin title of the university. [6]

Aberdeen

Plaque depicting the arms of the University of Aberdeen and its four nations (in each corner) in King's College Chapel.

The University of Aberdeen also had a system of nations.[7] Following the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858, the use of nations to elect the Lord Rector continued via the election of Procurators, similar to the system used at the University of Glasgow, with the Chancellor having deciding vote in case of a tie. The four nations of the University were Angus, Mar ("Marriensis"), Buchan ("Buchanensis") and Moray ("Moraviensis"). [8]

Prior to the 1858 Act, Glasgow and Marischal College, one of Aberdeen's predecessor universities, were alone in making provision via the nations for election of a Rector. [9]

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/media/medieval_university.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.archive.org/stream/officersofmarisc00aberuoft/officersofmarisc00aberuoft_djvu.txt
  3. ^ http://foi.st-andrews.ac.uk/PublicationScheme/servlet/core.generator.gblobserv?id=119
  4. ^ R.G.Cant, The University of St Andrews (Scottish Academic Press, 1970), p.7-8
  5. ^ Historical perspective for Glasgow
  6. ^ Scran - Armorial Plaques Representing The Student Nations Of The University Of Glasgow
  7. ^ Past and Present
  8. ^ http://www.archive.org/stream/officersofmarisc00aberuoft/officersofmarisc00aberuoft_djvu.txt
  9. ^ R.D. Anderson, The Student Community at Aberdeen 1860-1939 (Aberdeen University Press, 1988), p.26

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Combined Scottish Universities by-election, 1945 — The Combined Scottish Universities by election, 1945 was a by election held from 9 April to 13 April 1945 for the Combined Scottish Universities, a university constituency of the British House of Commons. Contents 1 Vacancy 2 Candidates 3 Result …   Wikipedia

  • Combined Scottish Universities by-election, 1946 — The Combined Scottish Universities by election, 1946 was a by election held from 22 November to 27 November 1946 for the Combined Scottish Universities, a university constituency of the British House of Commons. It was the last election for a… …   Wikipedia

  • Universities — • The principal Catholic foundations have been treated in special articles; here the general aspects of the subject are presented Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Universities     Universities …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Scottish Enlightenment — ▪ British history Introduction       the conjunction of minds, ideas, and publications in Scotland during the whole of the second half of the 18th century and extending over several decades on either side of that period. Contemporaries referred… …   Universalium

  • Scottish Gaelic — Not to be confused with Scots language or Scottish English. Scottish Gaelic Gàidhlig Pronunciation [ˈkaːlikʲ] Spoken in …   Wikipedia

  • Scottish cuisine — This article is part of a series on British cuisine …   Wikipedia

  • Enlightenment (The Scottish) — The Scottish Enlightenment M.A.Stewart INTRODUCTION The term ‘Scottish Enlightenment’ is used to characterize a hundred years of intellectual and cultural endeavour that started around the second decade of the eighteenth century. Our knowledge of …   History of philosophy

  • Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations — Proportion 1:2 Adopted 26 March 1976 Design A gold globe, surrounded by 61 gold spears, on a blue field. The flag of the Commo …   Wikipedia

  • English in the Commonwealth of Nations — The use of the English language in most member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations was inherited from British colonisation. English is spoken as a first or second language in most of the Commonwealth. In a few countries, such as Cyprus and… …   Wikipedia

  • Commonwealth of Nations membership criteria — The Commonwealth of Nations currently has 54 members.   member states …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.