St Andrews tops student satisfaction poll

St Andrews gowns
Photo: Jessica Biggs / Lightbox

The 2013 National Student Survey has named St Andrews as the best “multi-faculty university in Scotland.”

The only Scottish university in the top ten, St Andrews has jumped seven places from last year’s survey results. Only the University of Bath has a higher satisfaction rating this year: 94% of students there would declare themselves “satisfied” or “very satisfied” compared to St Andrews’ 93%.

St Andrews also edged ahead of Oxford and Cambridge, which came fifth and fourth respectively.

The NSS is an annual independent survey that questions undergraduates on their university experience. This year around 265,000 finalists were asked to fill in the survey. The institutions are ranked on academic factors including teaching, assessment and feedback, as well as the availability and quality of resources and effectiveness of their student union.

St Andrews was rated highly for course teaching, academic support and organisation and management.

Professor Lorna Milne, Vice-Principal and Proctor, said that the results were a “welcome and continuing vote of confidence in the quality of our teaching staff and the close contact they have with our students in St Andrews.”

“I’m very proud of the standards our students achieve and it is gratifying to see them rate their university equally highly,” she continued.

The NSS also breaks down the rankings by subject, where St Andrews scored especially well in the sciences. The students in the Schools of Physics and Astronomy, Computer Science, and Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry all voted St Andrews to first place in the UK. Other satisfied St Andrews students included those from the Schools of Biology, Medicine and French.

As well as a course spilt in satisfaction, there appeared to be a geographical spilt across the survey – those studying in England and Wales were slightly less satisfied than those in Scotland (84% to 86%).

The director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim, said: “Recording improved or equal satisfaction from students in 20 out of 22 measurements this year is evidence of the high quality of education delivered by universities in Scotland.

“This survey builds on the excellent figures we learned earlier this summer that graduates from Scotland’s universities are more likely to be in positive destinations of work or further study after six months than anywhere else in the UK and are also commanding the highest average starting salaries and lowest levels of unemployment.”


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