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Saturday, 7 October, 2000, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Lovesick girls target Prince university
Prince William studying at Eton
The royal scholar is on a gap year
Teenage American girls are targeting St Andrews University in the hope of securing a place alongside Prince William.

Interest in Scotland's oldest universty has reached fever pitch across the Atlantic since the 18-year-old announced his decision to study in the Fife town.

He will start his four-year History of Art MA (Honours) course in the autumn of 2001, after his gap year.

According to reports in the British press, British Council officials in the United States said enquiries about St Andrews were at unprecedented levels.

Prince William
Prince William is a pin-up for teenage girls
"There has been a fair amount of interest in St Andrews, more than usual. We suspect this might be because of Prince William," said Jenny Scott, the British Council's director of education promotion in Washington.

US students were also said to be interested in British universities because of the strong dollar and rumours that Chelsea Clinton might follow her father to Oxford University.

More than 30,000 US students came to Britain to study in 1999.

William is enjoying an adventurous year off which has already taken him to Belize in Central America and Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean.

He is currently in Chile sleeping in a tent in Patagonia as part of an expedition that will see him building bridges and observing the local wildlife.

Hottest date

William is no stranger to female admirers, having been flanked by excited young girls pleading for his hand in marriage during his first overseas engagement in 1998.

He was also voted as a woman's hottest date for 2000 by Tatler magazine.

William gained an A grade in geography, a B in history of art and a C in biology this year to enable him to take up the St Andrews course.

British furniture, architecture, Renaissance Italy and modern art are among the topics the Prince will be taught.

Scotland's oldest university was founded in 1411 and has a lengthy Royal heritage.

Many Scottish kings went to St Andrews until the 16th Century.

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See also:

16 Aug 00 | Scotland
St Andrews set to welcome prince
16 Jun 00 | UK
The princely pin-up
17 Jun 00 | UK
Just William says Prince
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