St Andrews ranked best in Scotland

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The Sunday Times has ranked St Andrews as the best university in Scotland and 6th in the UK in the newest edition of their University Guide.

Having moved up one position from last year, it is now the only Scottish university to be named among the top ten institutions in the UK.

The authors of the Guide called the University’s research profile a “triumph.” Over 90% of staff were entered for last year’s research assessments, with close to 60% of them judged to be either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

The highest proportions of 4* staff were found in film studies (50%), philosophy (40%), English (35%) and chemistry (30%).

St Andrews also fared well in the National Student survey, receiving the highest score in Scotland and placing 7th in the UK.

These results were an important contribution to its ranking by The Sunday Times, which has revised its criteria this year to place greater emphasis on student satisfaction with teaching quality, academic support, assessment, and feedback.

“Put simply, it’s down to the very high quality of our staff, the academic experience and the willingness of students to give feedback,” said Niall Scott, the University’s Director of Corporate Communications.

“It’s about people and an infectious enthusiasm for teaching and learning. We have done well in the NSS because our students have judged that we have some of the best teachers in the world here.”

The Guide also doubled the weighting  given to scores in graduate employability.

With tuition fees set to increase throughout the UK, this month’s QS World University rankings, in which employers rated St Andrews 51st in the world for supplying well-qualified graduates, offers encouragement to students concerned over financial returns for their educational investment.

“As a general point, league table influence will inevitably grow the more that finance and the payment of tuition fees becomes a consideration,” said Scott, “but [they] are not by any stretch of the imagination the only determinant.

The Sunday Times placing is another pleasing result for St Andrews, but I’m sure our incoming first years have consulted a number of different league tables and indicators alongside all the other factors which influence choice.”

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