Scotland’s first university celebrates over a decade at the top

Tuesday 24 April 2018

The University of St Andrews is top in Scotland and one of the five leading universities in the UK, according to a new league table to be published today (Wednesday 25 April 2018).

The Complete University Guide 2019 ranks St Andrews top in Scotland, a position the Fife university has held since the Guide was first published 11 years ago.

Scotland’s first university joins Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and the London School of Economics to make up the UK top five.

St Andrews also occupies the top UK spot in three subjects (Anatomy and Physiology, Business and Management Studies, Middle Eastern and African Studies) and is one of only three universities other than Oxbridge to be top in more than two subject tables.

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, St Andrews features in the top ten for 24 subjects it teaches.

As a nation, Scotland outperformed the other UK countries in key measures used by The Complete Guide to rank universities.

Scotland recorded the highest mean Entry Standards and awarded the greatest proportion of good honours (either a first-class or upper second-class honours degree) of any region. Out of the 70 subject tables, 19 are topped by Scottish institutions. No other region can boast having as many different universities in Top Tens or top spots.

Top marks for teaching quality, student satisfaction and the quality of its academic programmes underpin St Andrews’ strong performance in the new Guide.

Welcoming the news, Principal Professor Sally Mapstone said: “It’s an honour to be top in Scotland after another very strong performance from the sector north of the border.

“St Andrews’ values are those of a small, Scottish, and highly international university. We are outward looking, inclusive and focused on excellence.

“We see teaching quality and research excellence as commensurate, and we provide them in an environment that is beautiful, friendly and enriching. This is an encouraging result for St Andrews, and for Scottish higher education which continues to show its strengths.”

Lewis Wood, President of the St Andrews Students’ Association, said: “These fantastic results cement our position as a world-leading university. Our students have long recognised the exceptional quality of learning and teaching, as well as the overall student experience at St Andrews.

“Both the University and the Students’ Association work hard to continue to improve upon the world-class offering we provide to every student. I feel very proud to have been a part of this and I hope this news encourages students from around the globe to continue to apply and contribute to the University of St Andrews.

“The experience that students receive here really is exceptional, and I’m very happy to see the league table reflect what all students here feel very intimately.”

The Complete University Guide logo

Dr Bernard Kingston, Chairman of The Complete University Guide, said: “The proportion of good honours has steadily but inexorably increased at almost all universities. Either students are working harder, or they are being better taught, or something else is happening. But it is one of the criteria over which universities have a significant degree of control.”

Dr Kingston added: “Entry Standards, one of the measures used in the Main Table and subject tables, relies on the UCAS Tariff for the underlying data. A new Tariff with an updated methodology has replaced the original one since the 2017 admissions cycle. This has positively impacted on the Entry Standards measure for most Scottish universities and, hence, on their rankings, particularly in our subject tables.”

Photograph shows the Student Union President and the University Sabbatical Officers in St Salvator’s Quad at the University of St Andrews (left to right): Director of Student Development and Activities (DoSDA), Charlotte Flatley; Director of Wellbeing (DoWell), Claire Shirley; Student President, Lewis Wood; Director of Events and Services (DoES), Hannah Jacobs; and Director of Education, Zach Davis

Notes to news editors/interview requests

The Complete University Guide 2019 is published online and is available after the embargo is lifted.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467 320 / 07526 624 243 or [email protected].


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