University apologises for embargo breach

St Andrews University has issued an apology after inadvertently releasing some exam results early - but they have stressed the mistake did not impact on anyone being offered a place to study this year.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) criticised the university after it emerged 65 students who had applied to study in the town were able to see their results four days before they were officially released.

The results were available on the university website for 12 hours before a parent spotted the mistake and the information was removed.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We regret this breach of embargo, which was caused by a combination of a system error and the efficiency of staff who processed data early.


“As a result of the temporary glitch in our computer systems, it became possible for 65 students already admitted to the University of St Andrews to access the results of their SQA National Qualifications on the University website for a 12 hour period between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

“It is very important to stress that this error did not affect people seeking admission to St Andrews or awaiting a decision upon a conditional offer.

‘‘The ability to see exam results on our website applied only to students who had already accepted an unconditional offer from St Andrews and students could see only their own results and not those of others.”

Freddie fforde, president of the St Andrews University Students Association, said he hoped lessons had been learned from the mistake but he didn’t believe any major damage had been done.


“I’m a little concerned by this glitch, but I don’t think it’s anything serious - we haven’t had any complaints at the association.

“It’s certainly not fair on those others to have to wait, so I would sincerely hope that the university learns from this error.

“However, as it has not affected anybody’s offer to come here, I can only say that it’s such a pleasure to see that these students are hitting such top grades to be in receipt of an unconditional offer in the first place.

“I welcome and congratulate all those who this week have earned their place at this university, even if they had to wait slightly longer to find out.”