St Andrews top Scottish university

Friday 21 September 2007

The University of St Andrews is named as the runner up for The Sunday Times UK University of the Year award in The Sunday Times University Guide 2007 which will be published with the newspaper this Sunday, September 23rd.

St Andrews has been placed sixth in the Sunday Times UK Table and again tops the Guide’s league table of Scottish universities.

The 62-page guide, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is described by Professor Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor of Durham as “the definitive guide for prospective students.”

The Sunday Times ranking completes a highly successful year for St Andrews.

Scotland’s oldest university has come top in Scotland and among the top five UK institutions in the 2007 guides produced by The Guardian, The Times and the online Good University Guide.

It was also named top mainstream university in the UK in the National Student Survey 2007 published earlier this month.

The Sunday Times Guide 2007 says:

– St Andrews has equalled its highest-ever ranking this year with a string of improvements in performance during the past year. Our Scottish University of the Year in 2006 and a winner of the UK University of the Year title back in 2002, this is the nearest a former winner of the UK title has come to repeating the trick.

– The decision to be one of the first eight Scottish institutions to take part in the national student satisfaction survey has been vindicated by an outstanding performance.

– Just five multi-faculty universities have returned higher levels of satisfaction. Degrees are extremely flexible and teaching and research is of the highest standard, graduate unemployment is low and the level of entry qualifications held is only just below that of Oxbridge.

– This degree of excellence has enabled St Andrews to rise in The Sunday Times University Guide league table from 14th to 10th to sixth place in the past two years.

– St Andrews is one of 11 Scottish institutions to make gains in the UK rankings in this year’s Sunday Times university league table, an unparalleled achievement in its 10 years of publication.

Dr Brian Lang, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are delighted to have been part of such a strong performance by Scottish universities in this year’s Sunday Times Guide.

Our staff can be exceptionally proud of the fact that we have featured consistently so close to the top of national league tables throughout 2007. The Sunday Times Guide offers another very important endorsement of their commitment to high quality teaching and research.

The challenge for St Andrews and Scottish higher education is to sustain this level of performance in the years ahead.”


Issued by the University of St Andrews

Further information : Niall Scott, tel 01334 462244, mobile 07711 223062

Top in Scotland

Rank University Sunday Times UK rank 2007 Sunday Times UK rank 2006 % satisfied Students Peer rank Head rank
1 St Andrews 6 10 80.9 13= 24
2 Edinburgh 14 14 70.9 8 14
3 Glasgow 26 30 76.5 19 39=
4 Aberdeen 34= 35 78.3 37= 38
5 Stirling 37 42 n/a 42 88=
6 Dundee 38 39= 75.7 45 93=
7 Heriot-Watt 41 43 72.6 44 68=
8 Strathclyde 43 47 73.9 32= 67
9= Queen Margaret 65= 57 n/a 82= 102=
9= The Robert Gordon 65= 68 n/a 81 104=
11 Napier 71 93 n/a 95= 119=
12 Glasgow Caledonian 92= 83= 72.0 78= 119=
13 Abertay Dundee 105 113= n/a 98= 114=
14 Paisley 110 118 n/a 107 114=


The Sunday Times University Guide 2007 was compiled using data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa), the National Student Survey, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the national funding councils, head teachers, peers and the 123 institutions themselves. Each university and college is ranked according to the total mark it achieved across nine distinct areas: student satisfaction; teaching excellence; head teachers and peer assessments; research quality; A/AS-level (or Higher/Advanced Higher) grades achieved by entrants; graduate employment and proportion of students entering graduate level jobs; percentage of first and 2:1 degrees awarded; student/staff ratios; and dropout rates.

Head teachers at more than 1,000 leading state and independent secondary schools were asked to identify the highest-quality undergraduate provision in 30 subjects. The number of subject citations received at each institution was expressed as a percentage of the maximum number it was possible to achieve had every head cited a given university in every subject for which it offered a course. The ranking in the table above is derived from this percentage.

More than 2,200 academics were contacted for The Sunday Times peer assessment survey. They were asked to rate departments in their subject field at other universities on a five-point scale for the quality of their undergraduate provision. The ranking shown above is based on an institution’s overall score expressed as a percentage of the maximum score possible had all academics given every department the highest possible rating.

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