The cloisters of St Salvator's Quadrangle lit in red light



World-leading glyph

We will be world-class across all our academic activities and support our world-leading potential. A defining aim is to address global challenges with demonstrable outcomes and in socially responsible ways.

The University of St Andrews is ambitious for the quality and impact of our research and educational programmes. Research and teaching are at the heart of who we are and what we do, and the fact that we can connect them so strongly is distinctive and fundamental to our global reputation. In an environment where competition for resources and opportunities is ever fiercer, we must anticipate and be ready to act to stay ahead. Over the next strategic period we will accelerate investment and leverage international partnerships to enhance academic excellence and build those areas where we are, or have the potential to be, world-leading. We will strengthen a world-class environment that empowers our staff and students to lead in the development of knowledge and education, maximising opportunities for innovation in the service of future generations.


We couple the development of knowledge and research-led education to all our strategic themes in order to catalyse progress. The climate emergency sets a tempo of urgency for sustainable change. A digital culture opens new avenues for research, education, sustainable approaches, and growth. A diverse international community of talented people and deep partnerships in an environment where they can develop is key to our priorities. An entrepreneurial mindset ensures that our research and educational programmes will have impact beyond the academy.


  • We will be amongst the very best universities in the world. We will strategically strengthen and support our community in heightening our academic performance and impact. 
  • We will harness the power of interdisciplinarity – the connections we make between disciplines – to enable collaboration and address global challenges. This will include prioritised collaborations with key global partners to underpin our global identity.
  • We will attract excellence, build ambition, and recognise achievement amongst our staff and students. We will do so within an inclusive and scholarly environment that develops our students and staff to realise their potential and targets recruitment strategically. 
  • We will develop our estate to advance research and education as well as opportunities for interdisciplinarity. In central St Andrews we will deliver the ‘New College’ to further academic activity in the social sciences. This in turn will open up opportunities to support the arts and humanities. We will enable visionary innovation in our world-leading science disciplines based at our North Haugh by enhancing the physical environment.

Research, impact, and innovation

We will:

  • Invest in research which is world-leading within our disciplines and in interdisciplinary potential where it enhances our response to major challenges.
  • Build sustainable, funded collaborations with global strategic partners.
  • Enhance the impact and communication of our research outside academia.


Education and the student experience

We will:

  • Deliver education of the highest quality across our physical and digital environments, building on our distinctive student experience to transform the potential of future generations.
  • Develop curricula and complementary opportunities integrating our research and pedagogical excellence in collaboration with students and external experts.
  • Ensure students are integral partners throughout the educational and student experience as we extend our community digitally.

We will deliver this by

  • Making strategic appointments to take advantage of opportunities that accelerate progress with our objectives.
  • Investing sustainably in our estate as an enabling resource, underpinned by long-term, responsible master planning across our physical and digital requirements.
  • Creating development opportunities for people who want to lead, including collaborations across partners and disciplines.
  • Targeting support for emerging interdisciplinary activity in priority areas established by our community including: peace, conflict and security; cultural understanding; evolution, behaviour and environment; materials for the modern world; sustainability; engineering; and health, infectious disease and wellbeing.
  • Providing investment to deepen international partnerships strategically.
  • Working together to start up global institutes as flagships of international interdisciplinary excellence.
  • Linking the Eden Campus to our research and educational strengths across St Andrews.
  • Advancing our ambitious philanthropic campaign to drive our ambitions in St Andrews and further the reach of our community around the world.

Progress will be indicated by

  • The breadth of research in which we are judged to be world-leading.
  • Externally recognised impactful and interdisciplinary activity.
  • High quality and sustainable global strategic partnerships.
  • A student experience and outcomes of the highest quality.