The University of St Andrews was recently named as one of the top 100 universities in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings 2024 published in June 2023. St Andrews is Scotland’s oldest university and appears in the 95th spot on the rankings list, marking a rise of one position from last year. This puts the university in the top 7% of higher education establishments worldwide.

The rankings measure a wide range of elements including research strengths, academic reputation, citations, international influence and reputation with graduate employers.

Steeped in History

University alumni such as Dr Adam Alexander know that St Andrews has a rich heritage. Founded in the 15th century, it was the first university in Scotland and is the third oldest throughout the English-speaking world, having been formally constituted in 1413 by the issue of a papal bull.

Throughout the centuries, many great minds have been drawn to St Andrews, among them the poet William Dunbar, John Napier (inventor of logarithms), Benjamin Franklin, Edward Jenner, the philosopher John Stuart Mill, J.M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling and Sir James Black, a Nobel Prize winner in medicine.

For more information about the history of the University of St Andrews, take a look at the embedded PDF.

The Rankings in Depth

Digging deeper into the details of the recently released rankings, St Andrews was placed 173rd in terms of its academic reputation, representing a rise of two places from last year and placing the university within the highest percentile for this metric. The university was ranked 30th as a beacon for international students (a sign of its commitment to be a supportive, welcoming and inclusive community for students attending from around the world) and saw a significant gain in the ratio of student-to-faculty, which rose by 37 positions.

The new QS Rankings metric, sustainability, evaluates the environmental and social impact of universities as centres of research and education, and the University of St Andrew’s was placed 77th in the world in this regard.

The 2024 Rankings mark the 17th consecutive year that St Andrews has been placed among the top 100 global universities.

Maintaining its Position

What makes the university’s ranking particularly impressive is that it comes at a time when there is a continued marked growth in overseas competition: the QR Rankings have now been expanded from 1,000 to 1,500 worldwide institutions. The Rankings is now in its 20th year and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most respected higher education league tables.