St Andrews named University of the Year

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionFounded in the 15th Century, St Andrews is Scotland's oldest university

St Andrews has been named the UK university of the year.

The Fife institution was praised for the quality of its teaching and overall student satisfaction by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The award was decided using different criteria to league tables, in which Oxford and Cambridge rank highest.

The University of Dundee won the award for student experience, while Stirling took the prize for the best sporting university.

On a straight league table basis, St Andrews ranks third.

image copyrightGeograph/Bill Boaden
image captionThe University of Stirling was named sporting university of the year

Founded in the 15th Century, St Andrews is Scotland's oldest university and the third oldest in the English speaking world, according to its website.

It counts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, known in Scotland as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, among its most famous alumni.

'World stage'

The awards were decided using criteria including the performance of the university that year, progress made in the past 12 months and the levels of initiatives and investments made.

Alastair McCall, editor of the Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: "St Andrews fully deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Cambridge and Oxford when we talk about the very best that British higher education can offer.

"The league table proves it but more importantly so do its students, who consistently rate St Andrews the best university for teaching quality."

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image captionThe University of Strathclyde was named Scottish university of the year

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon passed on her congratulations to the institution, saying Scotland punched "well above its weight" in terms of international recognition and that institutions such as St Andrews played a key role in the country's standing on the world stage.

She added: "With almost half of its students coming from Europe and the rest of the world it is well placed to take the message that Scotland is an open and welcoming nation to every corner of the globe."

On taking the prize for student satisfaction, Dundee University Students' Association president Josh Connor, said the award would not be surprising for anyone who studied in Dundee.

"We are a community, a family, and that is why our student experience is the best in the UK, because we look out for each other," he said.

While St Andrews was named UK University of the Year, the University of Strathclyde won Scottish university of the year.

Principal Prof Sir Jim McDonald said: "Students are at the heart of everything we do."

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