University named fourth best in UK

Thursday 10 May 2007

The University of St Andrews has been named fourth best university in the UK and the ‘big success story’ of this year’s Guardian University Guide.

St Salvator's QuadThe Guardian’s league tables are compiled by assessing various aspects of university life, from teaching quality and staff-student ratios to graduate job prospects.  This year the publication paid particularly close attention to student feedback and St Andrews’ success is partly attributed to our students naming their university the best in the UK in the national student survey of 2006.

Compared to its placing of 39 last year, the University is placed in the 2007 guide above all other Scottish universities and fourth overall to Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London.  It is the highest climber in this year’s guide, which compilers describe as a ‘phenomenal rise’.

The ranking is the highest ever achieved by the University in any league table and the placing is testament not just to its continued strengths in research and teaching but its sustained popularity with both existing and prospective students (there are around ten applications to every place).

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Dr Brian Lang said, ‘Students have become increasingly sophisticated and critical consumers and universities ignore this fact at their peril. St Andrews’ students voted us the most popular mainstream university in the UK by dint of their responses to the NSS in 2006 and this factor has played large in our very welcome rise in the Guardian league table.’

‘The quality of our teaching and research has remained consistently high and we are committed to major investment in our Library and IT facilities in 2007 to raise our standards even higher.  Given that we do not have the additional spending power and competitive advantage which tuition fees have given our sister institutions south of the border, this is a good result not just for St Andrews but for Scottish higher education.’

Individual subjects performed particularly well in the rankings with several being placed in the top five in the UK – Anatomy and Physiology is placed second; Biosciences, Classics, English, Maths, Modern Languages and Psychology are rated third; Chemistry fourth and History, History of Art, Religious studies and Theology are all ranked fifth best in the UK.

The guide is available in full online at



Issued by Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected]
Ref:  Guardian table 100507
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