St Andrews top in new UK ranking

Saturday 24 September 2022

The University of St Andrews is the top university in the UK, moving ahead of Oxford and Cambridge, in the Guardian University Guide 2023 published today (Saturday 24 September).

It is the second time in two years that Scotland’s oldest university has come ahead of its larger Oxbridge rivals to top a leading university league table. In 2021 St Andrews was ranked number one in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, the first time in the 30-year history of league tables that any university other than Oxford or Cambridge has come first.

The Guardian places St Andrews top in its ranking of the UK’s 130 universities for the first time. St Andrews first broke the Oxbridge duopoly in 2019, unseating Oxford to take second place, and holding that position in the Guide the following year.

The Guardian has now coined the term ‘Stoxbridge’ to describe what it says may be the new world order in UK university rankings.

Matt Hiely-Rayner, who compiled the Guide, said: “There was little to separate the three Stoxbridge members, with the narrowest difference between first and third place in the Guide’s history.

“What’s clearer is the extent to which these three are removed from the rest of the sector.”

Seven of St Andrews’ academic subjects also ranked top in the UK: Art History, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, and International Relations. Sixteen of the 22 subjects taught at St Andrews ranked in the top five.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Sally Mapstone said: “I hope that St Andrews’ terrific students and all of my hard-working colleagues will feel the recognition of this very significant achievement. They entirely deserve it.

“The amalgam of our strengths in the key areas which The Guardian measures has set us narrowly ahead of some of the very best universities in the world. For a small Scottish university to shake the established order repeatedly is a great tribute to everyone who works and studies here.

“What a fantastic way to begin a new academic year, and at a time when the world we serve has rarely been in greater need of the transformational powers of the highest quality of independent research and teaching.”

The Guide ranks universities by the strength of student satisfaction, expenditure per student, student/staff ratio, career prospects, entry tariff, value-added and continuation.

The Guardian Guide is one of three national league tables, publishing annually alongside the Complete University Guide and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category University news

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