The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first university. It stands for research and teaching of the highest quality and the pursuit of knowledge for the common good.

Our fundamental goal is to attract and nurture the best staff and the most promising students from around the world, and provide an environment in which they can produce their best work for maximum societal benefit.

We aim to make the St Andrews experience unique, to differentiate this University from all others, to be a beacon for diversity and social responsibility, and to pursue the most effective ways to make a St Andrews education accessible to all who may benefit from it.

We are independent and committed to defending the rights of the academy to pursue research to the highest standards of scholarship, to make public its findings, and to speak truth to power as it sees fit.

We are one of the world’s most ancient universities, but we strive to be amongst the most modern and innovative. We have survived and flourished over six centuries because we are outward looking, international, and European; we will go on being so.

As a Scottish university, we have become a substantial contributor to the economic, intellectual, cultural, and social wealth of our country and our wider communities; we recognise that with this come both opportunities and obligations.

St Andrews’ future success now relies on bold choices, and on positioning ourselves with confidence and conviction in a rapidly changing world. It is our aim to improve significantly our standing amongst the top universities of the world.

In this five-year Strategy we set out how we will act on our core qualities and key ambitions to grow in size, scale, and impact, and to consolidate our strengths. We will do this in ways which respect and support our people, our values, and our environment. This Strategy expresses our ambitions across four distinct but equally important themes: World-leading St Andrews, Diverse St Andrews, Global St Andrews, Entrepreneurial St Andrews.

It takes full account of the geo-political context in which we now operate – the dismantling of traditional alliances, Brexit, the pace and scale of growth in international competition in higher education, the advancement of technology, and the requirement for successful global institutions to focus on quality, sustainability, and partnership.

Professor Sally Mapstone
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Sally Mapstone

Our fundamental goal is to attract and nurture the best staff and the most promising students from around the world.

Graphic of hand holding glass ball

University Social Responsibility

The University of St Andrews will visibly place social responsibility at the heart of its strategic plan.