Students line up at St Andrews Harbour and hold a large '1' to mark the University's success in recent awards.

Annual Review 2023

"I hope you will see the transformative impact we are achieving, empowered by our global St Andrews community." – Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE

Introduction by the Principal

2023 marked the first year of returning to ‘normal’ following Covid and this brought enormous relief and renewed energy to our staff and student bodies. Nonetheless, as we close one year, and look ahead to the next, the continued after-effects of the global pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, the rapid rise of digital technology, the increasing urgency of the climate emergency, and war in Europe and the Middle East profoundly affect the way we live and work. It is our duty to respond strategically and sensitively to all of these.

We have much that is outstanding to build upon. It is, after all, the quality of the St Andrews student experience that led to this year’s extraordinary triumph for the University, a historic double first that saw us clinch the top spot in the UK in both The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 and The Guardian University Guide 2024. We also retained our top 100 place in the QS World rankings, moving to 95 from 96. 

Considering our small size and our geographical location, this is a truly remarkable achievement and one which is testament to the quality of our teaching and research, and our staff’s commitment to providing an environment in which all our students can flourish.

This commitment was underlined by St Andrews becoming the first University in the UK to receive the EmilyTest Gender-Based Violence Charter Award, demonstrating our dedication to building a responsible and proactive community.

This year we launched our new People strategy, which sets out the steps we are taking to support, develop, and reward our staff, creating a culture in which they can thrive and perform at their best.

We continued to embrace the advantages of newly developed digital skills, methodologies, and resources to deliver enhanced teaching for our students. In the same spirit, we continued to develop our online offering and brought the world-leading St Andrews education experience to a much wider global community. 

In August we marked an important milestone, merging our Schools of Management and of Economics and Finance to create the University of St Andrews Business School, beginning a 12-month transition process to its official launch in September 2024. The School will provide our internationally renowned experts with the environment, investment, and support they need to respond most effectively to the post-pandemic, climate-emergency agendas and new economic, social, and political challenges.

Progress was made too at the Eden Campus, with the opening of the Colin Vincent Centre for Battery Technology and our new Rapid Prototyping Centre. These facilities firmly establish the Eden Campus as a leading hub for innovation and renewable technologies.
Our reputation as a centre of excellence in sustainable energy research advanced in 2023 and our green hydrogen projects received significant support from Angel Trains and the Wolfson Foundation. 

Once again, we extend our deepest gratitude to our generous donors and friends for your continued support. Your steadfast commitment propels us forward and over the following pages I hope you will see the transformative impact we are achieving, empowered by our global St Andrews community.

Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE

St Andrews at a glance


• 10,324 students
• 8,388 undergraduates
• 1,846 postgraduates
• 130 countries
• 96.08% of students enter employment or further study after graduation


• 3,250 staff
• 4 faculties
• 19 schools
• 30 units

Income up 2.8% to £322.4m

• Tuition fee income up 9.6% to £150.6m
• New donations from philanthropy up £7.1m to £31.6m
• Income from donations and other grant income up £2.4m to £6.5m
• Investment income, which helps to support scholarships, bursaries and widening access initiatives, up £900k to £5.9m


Timeline 2023

  • January 2023

    For Peatlands’ Sake opened at the Wardlaw Museum. Developed by Dr Katy Roucoux from the School of Geography and Sustainable Development, the exhibition highlighted research into the peatlands of Scotland and Peru and encouraged visitors to join the fight against climate change by helping to protect peatlands around the world.

  • February 2023

    The University’s School of Medicine and the R&A teamed up for the pioneering Golf for Health initiative, where patients are ‘prescribed’ golf to encourage a more active lifestyle. In collaboration with Fife GP practices, patients had the opportunity to experience the widespread physical, mental, and social benefits of golf as part of a free six-week programme.

  • March 2023

    University Chancellor, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, delivered a Loyal Address to HM King Charles III at Buckingham Palace. The University is one of 27 Privileged Bodies – institutions and organisations which have helped shape UK society and have a historic right to present a Loyal Address to the Sovereign. Lord Campbell led St Andrews deputation in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to take part in a long-held national tradition.

  • April 2023

    St Andrews Pride returned to town for the first time since the Covid pandemic. Staff, students, and locals marched through town to show support for the LGBT+ community. Organised by the Students’ Association subcommittee Saints LGBT+, the parade filled the streets with colour and celebration.

  • May 2023

    A team of academics from the School of International Relations visited Kyiv to meet with key members of the Ukrainian government, as well as local NGOs and the HALO trust. The St Andrews team briefed Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, and learned more about Ukrainian strategic thinking, and how Ukrainians view the future of their nation.

  • June 2023

    More than 2000 students from almost 90 different countries graduated in the University’s summer graduation ceremonies. Nine individuals, including golfer Sam Torrance, were awarded Honorary Degrees for their contributions to sport, science, music, economics, and literature.

  • July 2023

    St Andrews Botanic Garden signed a 40-year lease agreement with the University, representing a shared commitment to the long-term management of the Garden, and enabling new opportunities for investment as well as increased community involvement.

  • August 2023

    The National Student Survey 2023 results showed that St Andrews students are more positive about their education than students at any other mainstream university in the UK. Thousands of undergraduates across the country completed the survey which covers teaching quality, assessment and feedback, support for mental health, and facilities.

  • September 2023

    The University and Kingdom Initiatives celebrated the handover of 22 new affordable homes in town as the first phase of this pioneering project at The Grange, which offers affordable housing for postgraduate students and University staff.

  • October 2023

    Professor Colin Vincent, a former Master, Acting Principal, and Head of the School of Chemistry at the University, officially opened the Centre for Battery Technology at the Eden Campus. The Centre is a world leader in the production of commercial scale batteries and provides a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship that will generate new solutions to current energy problems, and help achieve a sustainable and low-carbon future.

  • November 2023

    A project between the University and bus giant Stagecoach offering 75% off bus travel during the cost-of-living crisis reached the milestone of saving students and staff almost £700,000 in fares and cutting the carbon footprint for those travelling for work or study by 614 tonnes in just 12 months.

  • December 2023

    The Principal hosted a drop-in reception in the Churchill Room in the House of Commons, where members of staff from across the University had the opportunity to discuss the University’s current and future projects with MPs and members of the House of Lords.