It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland, and the third oldest in the English-speaking world (following Oxford and Cambridge). It was founded between 1410 and 1413 when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a Papal Bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy. In post-nominals the university’s name is abbreviated as St And (from the Latin Sancti Andreae).
St Andrews is ranked as the fourth best university in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2014, the Times Good University Guide 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2015. Its Physics and Astronomy programme is ranked second in the UK, after that of the University of Cambridge, by the Times University Guide. The Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking names St Andrews among the world’s Top 20 Arts and Humanities universities. In the 2012 National Student Survey St Andrews had the highest student satisfaction among Scottish Universities. St Andrews requires the 4th highest entry grades of any comprehensive university in the UK.
The University is located in the small town of St Andrews in rural Fife. In term time, over a third of the town’s population is either a staff member or student of the university. The student body is notably diverse: over 30% of its intake come from well over 100 countries, 15% from North America; The University’s sport teams compete in BUCS competitions., and the student body is known for preserving a variety of other traditions.
St Andrews boasts five Nobel Laureates: two in Chemistry and one each in Peace, Literature and Physiology or Medicine.