St Andrews University voted top for student experience

The University of St Andrews has scooped first place in the UK for student academic experience, according to the results of the latest National Student Survey 2018.

New students at the University of St Andrews take part in the traditional Pier Walk along the harbour walls of St Andrews before the start of the new academic year

The National Student Survey (NSS) named the university the UK’s top mainstream university – the tenth time in the past 12 years it has topped the league table.

The University of Dundee once again achieved a top 10 UK place, and also ranked second in Scotland, followed by the University of Glasgow.

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The census of nearly half a million students, the NSS is undertaken independently by Ipsos MORI.

A total of 94 per cent of St Andrews final year students gave the university top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.

The survey reflects student responses to questions on academic support, learning resources, teaching, management, assessment, personal development and satisfaction.

Professor Sally Mapstone, St Andrews principal, said: “This is a terrific result and a tribute to the commitment of academic and professional staff across the University of St Andrews who provide an outstanding environment and experience for our students.

“St Andrews students recognise the exceptional quality of learning and teaching, facilities, and support at our University.

“We work in partnership with our students to ensure we continue to excel in this regard, and we take nothing for granted. These results demonstrate that those students joining our academic family in 2018 have made the right choice in calling St Andrews home.

“Scottish universities are setting excellent standards in UK education, and we are proud to lead in the NSS, and to demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to academic excellence and the student experience.”

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, representing Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions, said the results gave Scotland a “very good report card” but that the reasons for a small drop in satisfaction in some areas would be examined.

“Today’s survey is another way of giving students a voice on their experience at university and it’s a survey that universities pay close attention to.

“83 per cent of students in Scotland are satisfied with the quality of their course, 89 per cent think staff are good at explaining things and 85 per cent think the course is intellectually stimulating.

“That’s a very strong report card for our universities but we’ll obviously want to try to understand what sits behind the minor, 1 per cent drop in overall satisfaction amongst full-time students and a three per cent drop amongst part-time.”