Nobel Prize winning poet and honorary graduate Seamus Heaney has described the University of Dundee as "having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the ground." The ability to be both aspirational and down-to earth, to blend ground-breaking intellectual achievement with practical applications, has given the University its distinctive character. There have been many changes since the University became an independent institution in 1967 following a 70 year relationship with the University of St Andrews but the fundamental aims remain. These are, as set out in the University charter: "to advance and diffuse knowledge, wisdom and understanding by teaching and research and by the example and influence of its corporate life." Today these aims translate as excellence in teaching and research and contributing to the social, economic and cultural life in Scotland and continue to focus the University as it powers forward as one of the UK's top institutions for teaching and research across a broad range of disciplines.