St Andrews on top form in new university rankings

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Crest and Sea

The University of St Andrews’ position as one of the world’s top universities has been reinforced with the publication of two benchmark league tables.

The University is Scotland’s top university and one of the top three in the UK, according to The Complete University Guide 2021 published on Tuesday 9 June 2020.

The Guide makes St Andrews top of the class in Scotland, a few points behind rivals Oxford and Cambridge who take second and first place respectively, in the annual assessment of universities’ teaching and research strengths.

The University of St Andrews is also one of the world’s top 100 universities, according to the international league table the QS World Rankings 2021 also published this week (Wednesday 10 June).

Scotland’s oldest university is ranked 96th in the 2021 QS Rankings of the world’s top 1000 universities, a rise of four places from last year. The 2021 rankings also marks the 14th year in succession that St Andrews has been placed among the top eight per cent of global higher education institutions.

The QS Rankings, regarded as one of the world’s top two higher education league tables, measures a range of factors including academic reputation, research strengths, citations, reputation with graduate employers and international influence.

St Andrews maintains its position firmly inside the global top 100 in the QS World Rankings despite continued, marked growth in competition from overseas.

Both rankings outline a number of successes and improvements in key indicators for Scotland’s top university.

St Andrews is one of a trio of Scottish universities that make up the top 20 in the Complete University Guide 2021. Edinburgh rises one place from last year to 15th, while Glasgow is placed 19th, meaning Scotland’s top three universities all appear in the top 20 of the main table.

Success in The Complete University Guide 2021 also includes an impressive rise of 17 places in subject rankings for Medicine, which sees St Andrews enter the top ten, ranked at eight for the first time in five years. Dundee and Glasgow ranked joint top for Medicine, climbing five and two positions respectively, strengthening Scotland’s position as a global leader in medical excellence.

In many cases St Andrews has maintained or improved its scores across key indicators.

The University’s reputation as an employer rose 41 places, firmly placing St Andrews in the top 125 in the world in the QS Rankings 2021. This remarkable rise cements the University’s position as a global employer and reflects the hard work and commitment to ensuring the University is built on a culture that embraces social responsibility, diversity and inclusivity.

The University is also ranked in the top 30 in the world in the QS Rankings as a beacon for international students and among the world’s top 95 institutions globally for international faculty, demonstrating St Andrews’ strategic drive to be a beacon for students and staff from across the world.

It also boosted its ranking for academic reputation as a world-leading research institute with a rise of six places, cementing St Andrews’ position as a university renowned for its research and leadership on critical global issues.

Welcoming the news, St Andrews’ Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “These are encouraging and very cheering results for St Andrews and a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff and students across the University. For a small Scottish university to be competing amongst the very best says much for the strengths of research-led teaching and student experience on offer at St Andrews.

“It’s an honour to be top in Scotland in such a competitive and high-quality field north of the border. The global strengths of our universities in Fife and Tayside are something of which we should be proud.

“I am particularly delighted at the remarkable gains made by our School of Medicine, especially at a time when strengths in medicine and medical research are now more crucial than ever.

“It is, however, vital, at a time of global change and unrest, that St Andrews and other Scottish universities are able to continue to compete on a world stage and use our collective expertise for a better world.

“The future of universities has never been so fragile in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, but this is also a time when universities can demonstrate their true value to society.”

Jamie Rodney, President of the St Andrews Students’ Association, said: “This has been a tough year for universities everywhere, but I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved. These results are not just statistics, but testament to the incredible dedication shown by our students, academic and professional services staff towards the high standards and unique sense of community we have in St Andrews.

“Obviously, we still have huge challenges ahead of us, but these results, and the huge human potential they show, prove that we’re really well suited to meet them.”

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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