It’s official: St Andrews is the best university in the UK

The Times has crowned St Andrews its top UK university


According to new rankings released by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, the University of St Andrews is the best university in the UK.

St Andrews was awarded "University of the Year 2020" with particular emphasis on its high quality of teaching and significant student satisfaction.

The 600-year old higher education institution has been named the best place to study in the United Kingdom for the second time and remains the only Scottish university to achieve this accolade.

It has beat notable universities such as Oxford and Cambridge to receive this accolade.

Key findings

The University has been ranked first in the UK for both quality of teaching and student satisfaction and carries an overall rank of third best in the country.

Nine subjects, such as French, Physics and History, have student satisfaction percentages of over 90 per cent while 89.4 per cent of medical students are satisfied with the quality of teaching.

Its exceptional teaching quality and incredible student satisfaction has played a crucial role in its award this year.

Furthermore, 89.8 per cent of degrees achieved at St Andrews are awarded a first or 2.1 and 96.3 per cent of students complete their degree at Prince William and Kate Middleton's alma mater.

The Times praised the university in particular for its highly diverse, multicultural and international student body with over 45 per cent of students come from the EU or other overseas countries.

St Andrews is also highly popular, with over 11 applications being made every year per place, and competitive as the university only accepts less than half of the students that apply.

Much like how St Andrews beat Oxford to secure the second place in The Guardian University Rankings earlier this year, the university is slowly creeping its way to the top and, only 18 points behind, threatens the Oxbridge duopoly.

This is even more impressive considering the university has jumped 78 points in only a year since 2018.

More work to be done

Despite the incredible achievement of The Times' highest award, St Andrews refuses to become complacent and has significant plans for further bettering itself.

In regards to equality and diversity of ethnicities and backgrounds, the university ranks 116th in the UK.

They, therefore, hope to enact meaningful change through their university policies to promote social inclusion.

As part of their 'clear commitment to social responsibility' St Andrews is also hoping to spark change in admissions where more students from deprived areas are offered places.

Currently, slightly less than 40 per cent of British undergraduate students have studied at independent schools and fewer students were accepted from British state schools last year.

This is hopefully something they can improve in future years to boost their rankings even further.

COVER IMAGE CREDIT: EWAN HARVEY, STARFIELDS