University of St Andrews enters UK top ten league

Professor Sally Mapstone, principal of the University of St Andrews.
Professor Sally Mapstone, principal of the University of St Andrews.
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A Scottish university has made it on to a list of the top ten UK universities as rated by students, while another scooped a place for universities showing the greatest improvement.

The Times Higher Education 2018 UK Student Experience survey released today covering issues from quality of teaching to social life reveals the University of St Andrews in tenth place. It shares the ranking with the University of Chichester. Loughborough University took first place.

The university also came second for community atmosphere; second equal for both “high quality staff and lectures and well-structured courses; and third equal for helpful, interested staff and dealing with personal requirements.

Over 20,000 students at 116 universities rated 22 core aspects of university life.

Meanwhile Glasgow Caledonian University is the second most improved university -going from 99th last year, to 67th this year.

The Universities of Dundee and Glasgow were in 14th and 36th place respectively.

Sally Mapstone, principal of the University of St Andrews said the university deserved its place in the top ten.

“The highest quality of student experience is at the heart of what makes our universities successful and relevant, and we’re delighted that this is the second time in six months that St Andrews has been recognised for our special strengths in this area.

“Scottish higher education has more than held its own with the best universities in the UK for several years now, and it’s encouraging, and perhaps more reflective of reality, that we now have a Scottish institution in the top 10. ”

Professor Pamela Gillies, principal and vice-chancellor of GCU said: “We are delighted to receive recognition by our students of the outstanding learning environment and support our dedicated staff provide for them.”

“Our students thrive in our university environment because of the accessibility of our wellbeing services, the personal engagement of staff, our research led teaching which embraces the United Nations sustainable development goals; and the many opportunities they have to study or volunteer abroad as part of our common good initiative; our brilliant students association and last but not least our strong links to industry.”

John Gill, editor of Times Higher Education, said: “Understanding the student experience has never been more important to universities, which are competing with one another to a far greater extent than they once did.

“That competition plays out in the academic experience, of course, but also the facilities and lifestyles on offer for those who choose to study at a particular institution.

Mr Gill added: “In that context, the insights and lessons from our annual student experience are more valuable than ever.”