St Andrews University has been named as Scotland’s top university and the third best university in the UK.

The university was named just behind Oxford and Cambridge in a new league table published today.

The Complete University Guide 2020 names St Andrews just behind Oxford and Cambridge, with the university scoring highly for entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. 

The study also showed a positive rise in the league tables for a number of Scottish universities. 

READ MORE: Historic red gown worn by St Andrews University students mired in legal wrangle 

The University of Glasgow rose six places to 18th and was the only other Scottish university to sit in the top 20. The University of Strathclyde rose to 39th, with Glasgow Caledonian also rising eight places to 77th. 

Edinburgh Napier finished 86th rising 15 places, with West of Scotland jumping ten places to 104th. Queen Margaret climbed seven to 68th.

Despite the positive trend for some universities, some lowered their standing from the previous year. 

Aberdeen dropped one place to 29th after a climb of 12 places the previous year. Robert Gordon dropped two to 85th, Stirling dropped three to 43rd and Abertay dropped four to 103rd. 

St Andrews is also top in the UK for student satisfaction in the new guide, recognising the exceptional quality of learning and teaching and overall student experience on offer at the university.

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, St Andrews features in the top ten for 21 subjects, topping four, making it one of just five institutions in the UK to be top of more than two subject tables – Glasgow came top in seven subjects.

St Andrews is just one Scottish success story in the new guide. Edinburgh (equal 16th) rises seven places, while Glasgow (18th) jumps six, meaning Scotland’s top three universities all appear in the top 20 of the main table.

READ MORE: Scarlet gowns of St Andrews University worn "to discourage student vice" 

St Andrews’ principal Professor Sally Mapstone told the Scotsman: “It’s an honour to be top in Scotland in such a competitive and high-quality field north of the Border. These results are a reflection of the commitment of our staff and students to the highest standards of teaching, research, study and student experience.

“It is, however, vital, at a time of global change and the ­dismantling of traditional alliances, that St Andrews and other Scottish universities are able to continue to compete on a world stage.

“Our universities are one of this country’s great assets. Maintaining the brand of Scottish higher education overseas and ensuring that the world knows that Scotland is open to talented students of all nationalities and backgrounds is now one of our greatest challenges.”