St Andrews named Best Buy

Thursday 13 July 2017

Best buy logo - featured

A legendary guide to the best universities and colleges in the United States has singled out the University of St Andrews as one of its top choices for Americans seeking high quality education.

The University has been named a Best Buy in the 2018 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018.

St Andrews is the only university outside North America named in Fiske’s prestigious Best Buy list of colleges, which combine the strongest academic performance with value for money.

The Fiske Guide was first published in the 1980s by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske and has long been established as the bible of the US college admissions system.

Typically as thick as a brick and over 1000 pages long, Fiske is the go-to university reference for millions of American school leavers and their families. With increasing numbers of Americans looking overseas for a rounded university education, Fiske has turned its analytical gaze on the UK, and Fife.

“St Andrews – the most international of Scotland’s four “ancient” universities and the most popular destination for Americans studying in the UK,” says Fiske’s 2018 Guide published this week, July 11th.

“Harvard likes to brag about the fact that it was founded back in 1636. Think that’s old? Try 1413, the date Pope Benedict XIII issued a Papal Bull recognizing the University of St Andrews as Scotland’s first university and the third in the English-speaking world.

“U.S. institutions may trumpet their diversity, but nothing stateside compares to the richness of living abroad among the best and brightest from all corners of the globe. St Andrews delivers it all against a hauntingly beautiful backdrop that will remain forever etched in the minds of all who come here.”

Thousands of US citizens already agree. St Andrews is one of Scotland’s smallest universities but accounts for a fifth of all Americans currently studying in the UK. This year, it’s rubbing shoulders with Arizona State and Brigham Young University in Fiske’s select list of the top choices.

In a student population of 8,800, 1600 are from the States, and St Andrews has been a leading recruiter at US high schools for almost 20 years. The best-buy ranking also follows on from American lifestyle magazine Town and Country naming St Andrews “The Alt Ivy” earlier this month.

The University’s links with the US go back centuries – three of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, including Benjamin Franklin, had degrees from St Andrews, US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came to Scotland to accept a degree in 2011 and two years later St Andrews went to New York to stage a major fundraiser at the Met to mark the university’s 600th Anniversary. The event raised over $2 million dollars for scholarships for students from underprivileged backgrounds.

Despite the strong ties, the town of St Andrews is one of the few to remain free of McDonald’s, KFC and other signature brands which follow Americans abroad. Fiske however scores St Andrews highly for the alternative it offers to US colleges and the American way of life, and particularly its tough academic programmes.

“St Andrews is a very rigorous environment, where you are encouraged to take on independent research,” says one US student quoted in the Guide. “If you make it through, you’ll be strong.”

St Andrews staff are highly regarded, and students like having professors who are internationally known in their fields.

“Our lecturers are very good,” says another US undergraduate. “And when students do reach out for help, they find ample academic and personal support from Student Services and wardens (RAs) in the residence halls; indeed, nearly all freshmen return for their sophomore year.”

President of the St Andrews Students’ Association Lewis Wood said:

“For many, the quality of the student experience, academic environment, and the unique community at St Andrews is invaluable. We’re thrilled that the Fiske guide has recognised and affirmed what is already well acknowledged by the University population.”

A recent economic impact assessment found that St Andrews high proportion of overseas students, of which Americans are the single largest group, was integral to the university’s 480 million pound annual net contribution to the UK economy and its support of almost 9000 Scottish jobs.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews. Contact Christine Tudhope via [email protected] or +44 (0)1334 467320.

Category University news

Related topics

Share this story