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St Andrews up to third in the UK but some surprises elsewhere in Scotland – TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk 2018 league table #cug2018

St Andrews campus
The University of St Andrews is at an all-time
high in the 2018 CUG Main Table

Tom Allingham
26 April 2017

St Andrews has risen to third in TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk league table, published today (Wednesday 26 April).

This represents an all-time high for St Andrews, which now lies below only Cambridge and Oxford in the Main Table that this year ranks 129 UK universities.

Scotland’s second-highest ranked university, Edinburgh, falls four places to 23rd, exiting the Top 20 in the process. Glasgow (36th) slips from third to fifth in Scotland after falling seven places nationally, and is overtaken in the region by Heriot-Watt (28th) and Dundee (29th), both of which climb six places.

West of Scotland recorded the biggest climb in Scotland, up ten places to 100th. This was thanks in no small part to increased scores in a number of measures, including Student Satisfaction, Graduate Prospects, Academic Facilities Spend and Good Honours (the percentage of graduates achieving a 1st or 2:1). Elsewhere in the region, Glasgow Caledonian (78th) and Strathclyde (44th) both rise by four places, Aberdeen (40th) by two and Queen Margaret (92nd) by one.

Stirling holds on to the 39th UK ranking after climbing eight places last year, while Abertay (86th) also retains its position. Robert Gordon’s drop of 11 places to 75th is the biggest fall in Scotland, with Edinburgh Napier (94th) slipping two places.

As a nation, Scotland also outperforms the other UK countries with regards to its scores in three of the measures used to rank universities. The mean scores for Scottish universities in Entry Standards, Good Honours and Graduate Prospects are all higher than those recorded in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, St Andrews features in the Top Ten for 23 of the 25 subjects it teaches, occupying the top spot in two (Business & Management Studies, and Middle Eastern & African Studies). Edinburgh makes the Top Ten for 20 of the 50 subjects it offers, topping one (Nursing), while Strathclyde features in 34 subject tables, making the Top Ten in 13 and finishing first in three (Aural & Oral Sciences, Medical Technology, and Social Policy). In addition, Glasgow features in nine Top Tens; Dundee and Aberdeen in six; Robert Gordon and Glasgow Caledonian in five; Heriot-Watt and Stirling in three; Edinburgh Napier in two; and West of Scotland in one.

Dr Bernard Kingston, Chairman of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, said: “It is ten years since TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk launched its online university league tables, and they have proved their accuracy, independence and robustness over the decade.

“This year there is a considerable degree of stability at the upper end of the league table, as in the past. This stability, while it may not attract the headlines, demonstrates that the rankings fulfil our principal objective – to provide credible and freely accessible information for individuals seeking a university place.

“The Government has said that applicants need access to robust, timely and objective information, based on criteria that are straightforward and easily understood.

“We believe that TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk meets these criteria and more and we intend that this will remain the case for the next decade – and beyond. Indeed, we use the same three metrics which the Government plans to include in its much-heralded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).”

For the second year running, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has published a ranking table of specialist arts, drama and music institutions. This table shows remarkable consistency, with no institution moving more than two places.

TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk allows greater flexibility than newspaper and book-based guides. All the Guide’s university league tables can be sorted by their individual measures, and also filtered by year, region and mission group (including unaffiliated universities). The league table, full methodology and other information are available on the website.

Simon Emmett, Chief Executive Officer of the Hotcourses Group, which acquired TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk in October 2015, said: “The rankings provided by TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk are widely respected and cited both at home and, importantly, overseas.

"The rankings are well known for their editorial integrity and independence, key qualities which we know will remain under the continued guidance of Dr Bernard Kingston. It is a pleasure to work with him and his expert team, to whom I offer my warmest congratulations on this latest release.

“The CUG league tables increasingly enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the very different Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Both exist to help students make one of the most important decisions of their lives – the right choice of subject and the right university for them.”