Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are disputing pay, working conditions and pensions.
Strike action was called for after no agreement could be made between university representatives and the UCU over the issues.
The union said 74 per cent of its members had voted in favour of strike action.
Staff at 12 universities in Scotland are taking part in the strikes, which began on Monday and will continue until December 4.
A spokesman for the University of St Andrews said: “This is primarily a national dispute which can only be resolved at a national level.
“We urge both sides in this national dispute to resolve differences as soon as possible by meaningful negotiation to reach a settlement that is fair to staff and sustainable for their institutions.”
Conservative candidate for North East Fife, Tony Miklinski, visited the picket line.
After speaking to staff, he said: “They are angry and frustrated that they have had to resort to strike action to get attention and, personally, they have my support. The quality of our education provision is critical to the success of the UK going forward. I urge a review into the working practices and conditions that have resulted in this action. They deserve better.”
SNP candidate Stephen Gethins also met with striking staff. He called for a ‘long-term solution’ to be found to the issues.