The Guardian University Guide 2012

Tuesday 17 May 2011

The University of St Andrews has been named one of the top three universities in the UK, according to a new guide published today.

The Guardian University Guide 2012 places St Andrews 3rd in the UK, behind Oxford in 2nd place and Cambridge which takes top spot in the annual examination of the UK’s 120 universities.

St Andrews, which remains the top university in Scotland and the only Scottish institution in the Guardian’s top ten, moves up one place from 4th in last year’s table.

Two St Andrews subjects – Computer Science and Physics – were ranked among the top two in the UK. A further nine subjects were in the top 5 – Mathematics, International Relations and Divinity (3rd), Management, Classics, History & History of Art (4th) and Biology, Chemistry, English (5th).

Seven subjects were rated in the top ten: Social Anthropology, Earth & Marine Sciences, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Psychology (6th) and Economics and Geography & Geosciences (10th).

The Guardian University Guide is compiled by assessing key indicators of university strengths, from teaching quality and staff-student ratios to graduate job prospects and student satisfaction.

A major component of St Andrews’ success this year is continued high levels of student satisfaction. St Andrews students named their university top in the UK in the National Student Survey 2010, the 5th time in succession the university has been judged top mainstream university in the NSS.

The NSS measures how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching and their academic experience.

Welcoming the publication of the Guardian table, St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said:

“This result is a measure of the dedication, engagement and commitment to excellence of everyone who works and studies at St Andrews and a signal of our determination to ensure St Andrews and Scotland continue to compete nationally and internationally at the highest levels of higher education.

“To have achieved the highest ranking ever by a Scottish university and to have not only maintained but improved our place amongst the top five UK universities in the face of such intense competition is a very gratifying reflection on the quality of our teaching and research.”

The Guardian guide is available in full online at

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