In the latest university guide for 2016, oft-overlooked St Andrews ranks as the 3rd best university in the UK after Cambridge and Oxford, as well as ranking 1st in a number of key subjects.

Despite being tucked away in the ‘East Neuk’ of Scotland, St Andreans like to vociferously point out St Andrews’ competitiveness with the likes of Oxford and Cambridge ‘down south’. This might be evidence of the stereotype that St Andrews is full of Oxbridge rejects, however, the Guardian’s latest University league table for 2016 shows St Andrews is knocking on Oxbridge’s door.

Overall, Scotland’s oldest university placed 3rd in the UK, with high satisfaction for teaching (92%) and courses (92%). Although Oxbridge pipped St Andrews to the post on spend per student, St Andrews boasted a higher value added score. This score compares a students’ degree result with their entrance qualifications, showing teaching effectiveness. Graduate employment opportunities still lagged slightly behind Oxbridge with 79% in employment after 6 months.


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The proof is in the table!


In individual subject areas such as Politics (IR in St Andrews), Computer Science and Theology, St Andrews came out 1st. Other popular subjects such as History saw St Andrews come 2nd after Cambridge, displaying higher student satisfaction for courses, teaching and feedback than Cambridge.

Will St Andrews’ success in in both politics (1st) and philosophy (2nd) begin to rival Oxford, the Holy Grail of PPE? Sadly not, unless St Andrews’ School of Economics works its way up the tables, seeing as it ranked a mere 44th this year.


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Success wasn’t just confined to the arts, with subjects like Chemistry and Physics ranking 2nd and 3rd in the UK respectively. The university’s heavy investment in the School of Medicine has also produced dividends, ranking in the top 10 medical schools in the country.

Overall, this latest league table has validated St Andrews’ position as a top university institution, bringing good news for the university, demonstrating high student satisfaction for courses and teaching, as well as bringing some relief to the graduating Class of 2015 who will be pleased to see some empirical evidence of positive employment opportunities.

Table courtesy of The Guardian.