St. Andrews honour former Head of State

The former Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, celebrated his birthday on Friday, receiving a letter from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. 

Written by Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, the letter informed His Highness Tui Atua the University had unanimously agreed to confer on him an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt).

The honorary degree issued on the basis of high achievement in the respective field or a long record of research and publication. 

It is often awarded to candidates “whose record of published work and research shows conspicuous ability and originality and constitutes a distinguished and sustained achievement.”

In the United Kingdom, Australia, India and the Republic of Ireland, the Doctor of Letters is regarded as a “higher doctorate, above the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.).”

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In the letter, Professor Mapstone congratulates Tui Atua.

“It is my pleasant duty to advise you formally that the Honorary Degree Committee, as representatives of the academic staff and students of the University of St. Andrews, has unanimously agreed that it wishes to confer on you the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters,” she writes. 

“We should very much like the opportunity to recognise publicly your time as Head of the States of Samoa and your role as a leading Pacific scholar and public intellectual.”

The former Head of State and his Masiofo, Her Highness Filifilia Tamasese, are scheduled to travel to Scotland in June for the official conferral of the award. 

“The University would be pleased to offer you and a guest accommodation during your time at St. Andrews as well as help with travels and logistics. Honorary Graduands normally are present in St Andrews for 1-2 days and attend a dinner in their honour as well as other graduation-related festivities."

“We look forward to hearing from you and, we hope, to welcoming you to St. Andrews in June.”

According to St. Andrew’s website, the University was founded in the early 15th century, Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world.

Ranked 92nd in the world, it is particularly competitive in Theology, divinity and religious studies where it is ranked 18th in the QS World University Rankings. It ranks 19th in Philosophy and 61st in Arts and Humanities.   

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