Top of the class! Ranking success for International Relations at St Andrews

21 September 2021

The School of International Relations has been ranked first for Politics in the United Kingdom, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 published today (17 September 2021).

 The news comes as the University of St Andrews overtook Oxford and Cambridge to top the UK league tables for the first time in the near 30-year history of the definitive Sunday Times Guide. The methodology used by the Guide editors to rank the UK’s universities has not changed this year.

 St Andrews took first place this year by virtue of its strong performances in student satisfaction, research, teaching quality, entry standards and graduate outcomes. The School of International Relations came top out of 79 institutions with an exceptionally high score of 90.1% for teaching quality, 85.8% for student experience, and 81.1% for graduate prospects.

 The School of International Relations has also been ranked number one in the UK for Middle eastern and African Studies.

 Guide Editor Alastair McCall, said: “St Andrews’ achievement in topping our institutional table should not be underestimated. Never before has any university other than Cambridge and Oxford finished top of our – or any other – domestic ranking of universities.

 “It is no fluke. The university has been closing in on the Oxbridge duopoly for several years, buoyed by outstanding levels of student satisfaction which have peaked during the past year of pandemic disruption on campus. The lead St Andrews now has over other universities in this key area of university performance is remarkable.”

 Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, said:  “I am thrilled for our students, staff and alumni. They are the people who made this happen.  “As one community, we strive constantly for excellence, and have a strategy that hasn’t been afraid to believe St Andrews could challenge at the very top by combining the best teaching, world-leading research, and an unswerving commitment to student satisfaction and achievement. “I hope the fact that the staff and students of a small, Scottish institution have been able to break through the hitherto impenetrable Oxbridge ceiling will inspire others, and show that the status quo is only that if you allow it to be.”

 Professor Ali Watson, Head of School, said:

 “This is a real testament to the work that everyone in the School - staff and students - does, to the learning environment that has been created here, and to the care and commitment that everyone in the School demonstrates every day. “