University of St Andrews ranks in top 100 of international scientific league table

Thursday 12 January 2012

The University of St Andrews is one of the world’s leading centres for scientific research, according to a new league table published today.

Scotland’s oldest university is placed 71st in the Leiden Ranking 2012, published at The new ranking uses a sophisticated set of varied indicators to assess the quality and importance of scientific research at 500 of the world’s top universities.

The ranking found that St Andrews was among the world’s leading universities for international research collaboration. It was the top multi-faculty university in the UK and 25th in the world for research projects carried out with international partners. In the UK, only the London School of Tropical Medicine outperformed St Andrews on international research collaboration.

St Andrews was also commended for the number of times its research was cited or referred to by other scientists. It was judged to be 70th in the world for frequency of research citations.

Publication of the Leiden Ranking is the third time in 6 months that St Andrews has been named as one of the world’s top 100 universities. It was placed 85th in the Times Higher World Rankings 2012 and 97th in the QS World University Rankings 2012, both announced late last year.

St Andrews’ strong showing on international research collaborations – 25th in the world and top in the UK – reflects a drive to raise the profile of Scottish research overseas and help Scotland remain internationally competitive.

Last month, academics from the University’s Sea Mammal Research Unit co-led a study involving international colleagues from France, Norway, South Africa, USA, Canada, Sweden and Namibia to make a critically important finding about food stocks required by seabirds.

Astronomers from the University have this week collaborated with researchers using telescopes in Tasmania, Western Australia, South Africa and Chile to make an important breakthrough in the search for new planets.

And the Fife University was central to a recent global effort to encourage members of the public to help scientists understand the way whales communicate. The project – Whale FM – has seen thousands of “citizen scientists” sign up to a new US based website which allows the public to be centrally involved in deciphering whale calls, language and dialect.

Professor Louise Richardson, St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said:

“St Andrews may be one of the world’s smaller research universities but demonstrably we have global reach as so many of our academics are producing internationally important research.

“To have been ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions by three separate league tables in just 6 months is a gratifying endorsement of the quality of our research and teaching and the dedication and commitment of those who work here.

“This is a good result for St Andrews, but it is also a good result for Scotland. Despite the financial challenges we all face, we are determined that our universities should remain a critical international force and a means of strengthening Scottish influence abroad.”


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108/ 0771 414 0559.

Ref: (leiden 12/01/12)

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