Tributes paid to student found dead in St Andrews’ halls

Kelsey was studying International Relations at St Andrews University. Picture: Jane Barlow
Kelsey was studying International Relations at St Andrews University. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A prize-winning student has been found dead in student halls at Scotland’s oldest university, just weeks into her course after leaving one of the country’s top independent schools.

Kelsey Clarke, 18, was discovered in her room in the Agnes Blackadder Hall of Residence at the University of St Andrews on Friday morning.

The teenager, from Dollar, Clackmannanshire, was a former pupil of Dollar Academy.

Staff and students at St Andrews were informed of her death in an e-mail from university principal Professor Louise Richardson yesterday.

She said: “I am deeply saddened to have to tell you of the tragic death of one of our first year students, Kelsey Clarke.

“Kelsey was 18 years old and studying International Relations. A resident of Agnes Blackadder Hall, she had settled into hall life and had already made good friends in the first few weeks of term”

Ms Clarke was born in Exeter but moved to Scotland as a child.

Professor Richardson added: “She was a gifted and prize-winning student as well as being a talented debater. She participated in debate competitions at school where she also mentored the junior debaters.

“In St Andrews, she continued her passion for debating as a promising new member of our Debating Society.

“She also had a keen interest in politics and international affairs. She was enrolled in modules in social anthropology and Arabic in addition to her studies in IR.

“Her family describe Kelsey as unfailingly kind, generous to others, and with a fine sense of humour, qualities which were recognised by the friends and acquaintances she had made in her brief time as a student here.

“I know you will wish to join me in extending our deepest sympathies to Kelsey’s mother Jude, her father Jason, older sister Jen and dear friends Isaac, Amy and Fraser, to whom her loss comes as a heartbreaking shock.

“We are giving her family as much support as we can at this unbearably difficult time.”

It is understood that police have ruled out crime in the sudden death, and the procurator-fiscal has been informed.

This is the latest tragedy to strike the university, in January this year first-year student Kieran McCann was found on the shore near the Sea-Life Centre in the Fife town after going missing on a night out.