Top of the board in research excellence

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Photo_ Simon Varwell

St Andrews has been ranked number one in Scotland and 14th in the UK for the quality of its research publications across science, the arts and divinity and medicine.

The results were published by the Research Excellence Framework (REF). According to REF, 82 per cent of all research conducted at the University is world leading or internationally excellent. The results also showed that 98 per cent of publications are internationally recognised.

The University has managed to improve its standing since the last rankings, which were published in 2008. Since that time there has been a 22 per cent expansion in research conducted at the University. The Grade Point Average (GPA) of the University – calculated by REF – has increased from 2.72 in 2008 to 3.13 at the end of 2014. This stands up well against the national average GPA of 3.03.

St Andrews ranked above the UK average for research excellence in 16 subjects. However, four department were ranked below the UK average for research publications. These faculties were Anthropology, Economics and Finance, Medicine and Modern Languages.

Several schools performed exceptionally well in the rankings. The school of Geography and Geosciences came first in the UK for the quality of its research publications.

Biological sciences came second in the UK for their research publications.

The schools of Classics and Management both came fourth in the UK. The school of English came fifth and the school of History sixth.

Professor Richardson, principal of the University, said: “REF 2014 confirms that St Andrews, notwithstanding its small size, continues to punch well above its weight at a time of significantly increased competition in the sector. We are immensely proud of our staff and their dedication to producing work of world-leading quality and impact.

“The results identify research strengths as well as areas where there is room to improve, and we will take all of this into account as we look to invest in excellence as part of the development of our strategic plan in 2015.”

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