ST ANDREWS has been named the best university in Scotland and has risen two places to fourth in the UK league table.
The institution, which celebrated its 600th anniversary last year, is the only Scottish university to feature in the latest annual Complete University Guide top 20.
Cambridge heads the table over Oxford for the fourth year running, with the London School of Economics and political science in third.
The University of Edinburgh fell three places out of the top 20, to 21st, while Glasgow University dropped from 23rd to 30th.
The independent guide rates the strengths and weaknesses of UK universities on nine key indicators – student satisfaction, research assessment, entry standards, student to staff ratio, spending on academic services, spending on student facilities, good honours degrees achieved, graduate prospects and completion.
St Andrews was recognised in particular for high levels of student satisfaction, its international research strengths and the quality of degrees achieved by its students.
Principal and vice-chancellor at St Andrews, Professor Louise Richardson, said: “Every university is only as good as the people who research, teach and study there so this ranking is essentially a reflection of the dedication and talent of St Andrews students and staff.
“It is particularly encouraging that we have been able to improve our position in this national league table despite the increased financial pressures which we – along with all Scottish universities – face.
“The challenge for us is to secure the resources to match our potential and ensure that we can continue to compete at the highest levels, both nationally and internationally.”
In separate listings covering 67 subjects, Edinburgh appears in top ten listings for 26 of the 49 subjects it offers, leading the tables for nursing. St Andrews is in 20 top ten rankings out of 25 subjects. Glasgow is in 17 top ten listings, and is top of one – veterinary medicine.
Strathclyde heads one of its seven top ten rankings – medical technology – and Glasgow Caledonian is top in the UK for complementary medicine.
Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of the guide, said: “The league tables, taken with the rankings for specific subjects, offer would-be students an accurate and independent guide to the UK university system.
“They should not be used in isolation but alongside all the other advice and information in the guide.
“Its tables are recognised for their stability and consistency, and this year once again demonstrates this.
“Many of the changes this year are attributable to changes in definitions and weighting.”
Scotland’s university league table
1 St Andrews
9 Robert Gordon
10 Glasgow Caledonian
11 Queen Margaret