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The Rector of St. Andrews University is the elected representative of the students on the University Senate. They are elected every 3 years and can serve more than one term of office. Originally, the post was the head of the senate, but under the 1858 Universities (Scotland) Act, the post was altered to be a representative of the students. Anyone who is a current student, or holding an appointment at the University, or a Professor or Principal at another Scottish University cannot stand. Because candidates are invited to run for election by any student, many Rectors have been famous in other fields before taking up the position.

The 2002 Rector's Election was fought between Germaine Greer, Barry Joss, and Sir Clement Freud. Freud won the election.

The 2005 Rector's Election was fought between Martin Passmore, Simon Pepper and Gordon Ramsay. Pepper won the election.

Rectors since 1859

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