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University of St Andrews

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University of St Andrews
Latin: Universitas Sancti Andreae apud Scotos
MottoEver to Excel: ΑΙΕΝ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΥΕΙΝ [1]
Motto in EnglishEver to Excel
Established1410–1413 [2]
TypePublic university; research university; ancient university
Endowment£50.1 million (2014) [3]
ChancellorSir Menzies Campbell
RectorCatherine Stihler MEP
PrincipalLouise Richardson
Academic staff926[4]
Admin. staff309[4]
LocationSt Andrews, Fife, Scotland
CampusUrban / small town
SportsUniversity of St Andrews Athletic Union
AffiliationsUniversities Scotland
Universities UK
View across St Salvator's Quad
College Hall, in the 16th century St Mary's College building

The University of St Andrews (St Andrews University or St Andrews) is a public research university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland.

It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland, and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world (after Oxford and Cambridge). St Andrews was founded between 1410 and 1413, when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.

St Andrews is made up from a variety of institutions, including three constituent colleges (United College, St Mary's College, and St Leonard's College) and 18 academic Schools organized into four Faculties.[6]

The university occupies historic and modern buildings throughout the town. The academic year is divided into two terms, Martinmas and Candlemas. In term time, over one-third of the town's population is either a staff member or student of the university.[7]

The student body is diverse: over 45% of its intake come from over 100 countries outside of the UK, with about one-eighth of the students from the rest of the EU and the remaining third from overseas – 15% from North America alone.[8] The university's sport teams compete in BUCS competitions,[9] and the student body is keeps ancient traditions such as Raisin Weekend, May Dip, and the wearing of distinctive academic dress.[10]

National league tables currently rank St Andrews as the third best university in the United Kingdom, behind Oxbridge. The Guardian ranks the Schools of Physics and Astronomy, International Relations, Computer Science, Geography and Mathematics as first in the United Kingdom.[11] The Complete University Guide ranks Divinity and Middle Eastern and African Studies first.[12] The Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking names St Andrews among the world’s Top 20 Arts and Humanities universities.[13] St Andrews has the highest student satisfaction (joint first) amongst all multi-faculty universities in the United Kingdom.[14]

St Andrews has many notable former students and staff. Recent alumni include the former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond; Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon; HM British Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward; United States Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell; Olympic gold medalist Chris Hoy; and royals Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Six Nobel Laureates are amongst St Andrews' alumni and former staff: two in Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine, and one each in Peace and Literature.


  1. "University coat of arms". Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  2. "History of the University". Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  3. "St Andrews financial statement 2014" (PDF). University of St Andrews. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "St Andrews financial statement 2012". Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "UCAS stats". Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  6. "University of St Andrews". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  7. "The University today". Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  8. International. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  9. "Saint Sport". Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  10. "The low-down on our traditions". Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  11. University league tables [1]
  12. "University of St Andrews". Complete University Guide. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  13. Top Universities for Arts & Humanities 2010–2011. (28 October 2010). Retrieved on 14 May 2011.
  14. "National Student Survey".,247959,en.php. Retrieved 11 August 2014.