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St Andrews tops new university poll

The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s top university and one of the top three in the UK, according to a new league table published today (Wednesday 1 May 2019).

The Complete University Guide 2020 makes St Andrews top of the class in Scotland, and just a few points behind rivals Oxford, then Cambridge, which takes first place in the annual assessment of universities’ strengths across a broad range of teaching and research indicators.

St Andrews is also top in the UK for student satisfaction in the new Guide, recognising the exceptional quality of learning and teaching and overall student experience on offer at the University.

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, St Andrews features in the top ten for 21 subjects, topping four, making it one of just five institutions in the UK to be top of more than two subject tables.

St Andrews is just one Scottish success story in the new Guide. Edinburgh (=16th) rises seven places, while Glasgow (18th) jumps six, meaning Scotland’s top three universities all appear in the top 20 of the Main Table.

Other Scottish universities are also on the rise. Edinburgh Napier (86th) improves 15 places, West of Scotland (104th) ten places and Queen Margaret climbs seven to 68th. Glasgow Caledonian also places higher in this year’s table, moving from 85th to =77th.

Aberdeen (29th) drops one place but remains in the top 30 after its climb of 12 places last year. Robert Gordon (85th), Stirling (43rd) and Abertay (103rd) are others to fall with drops of two, three and four respectively.

Welcoming the news, St Andrews’ Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “It’s an honour to be top in Scotland in such a competitive and high-quality field north of the border. These results are a reflection of the commitment of our staff and students to the highest standards of teaching, research, study and student experience.

“It is however vital, at a time of global change and the dismantling of traditional alliances, that St Andrews and other Scottish universities are able to continue to compete on a world stage.

“Our universities are one of this country’s great assets. Maintaining the brand of Scottish higher education overseas and ensuring that the world knows that Scotland is open to talented students of all nationalities and backgrounds is now one of our greatest challenges.”

Paloma Paige, President of the St Andrews Students’ Association, said: “The Students’ Association continues to work alongside the University to improve upon the world-class offering provided to every St Andrews student, which includes both academic and extracurricular experience. The experience that students have at St Andrews is truly exceptional and I am proud that the immense dedication to this unique experience is being recognised.

“I hope this news encourages students from around the globe to continue applying and contributing to the University of St Andrews.”

Dr Bernard Kingston, Chairman of The Complete University Guide, commented: “The evidence is clear; the increased emphasis, including funding, on employability and career planning within academic departments and student services is bearing fruit.

“Many institutions now have this as a core element of their strategic plans with the introduction of innovative programmes of subject-specific careers events focussed on embedding and signposting graduate destinations.

“This is being supported through increased links to alumni and outside professionals leading to higher-skilled work experience. Such developments have been strongly encouraged by prestigious annual awards from AGCAS (the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) and the Institute of Student Employers.”


Photo caption (left to right): Fiona Murray, Athletic Union President, and Paloma Paige, Students’ Association President

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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