St Andrews University named best in UK and Scotland, beating off Oxbridge challenge

St Andrews is the top university in the UK and Scotland according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:11 am

In topping the table, it saw off the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge - something no university has achieved in the near 30-year history of the guide or any other domestic UK university ranking.

For several years, St Andrews has been closing in on the top spot with levels of student satisfaction that most other elite universities can only marvel at.

The institution flipped its small-class teaching model to online delivery during the pandemic, registering only a slight decline in satisfaction rates across the annual National Student Survey (NSS).

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University of St Andrews

However, scores in other institutions have largely fallen off a cliff, which has carried St Andrews to the top of the NSS rankings an impressive four percentage points ahead of any other institution for student satisfaction and teaching quality.

Alastair McCall, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “The university has been closing in on the Oxbridge duopoly for several years, buoyed by outstanding levels of student satisfaction which have peaked during the past year of pandemic disruption on campus.

"The lead St Andrews now has over other universities in this key area of university performance is remarkable.

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“Its wider contribution as a centre of teaching and outstanding research marks it out as a global player in the international higher education marketplace.”

Professor Sally Mapstone, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews, said: "I am thrilled for our students, staff and alumni.

“They are the people who made this happen.

“We strive constantly for excellence, and have a strategy that hasn’t been afraid to believe St Andrews could challenge at the very top by combining the best teaching, world-leading research, and an unswerving commitment to student satisfaction and achievement.

"We’ll enjoy this remarkable result, and I expect there may be a little good-natured cross-border teasing amongst colleagues.

“We have been in very good company close to the top of this important league table for several years, but until now, always on someone’s shoulder.”

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