Prince William's alma mater beats Oxford and Cambridge to be named Britain's best university
- St Andrews University pipped Oxford and Cambridge for the first time in a Guardian ranking.
- Prince William met Kate Middleton while both were studying there.
The university attended by the Prince and Princess of Wales has beaten Oxford and Cambridge to the top spot in the 2023 Guardian University Guide, The Guardian reported.
St Andrews took the best university title for the first time in The Guardian's rankings of Britain's top undergraduate institutions, with Oxford second and Cambridge in third place.
The university was attended by Prince William where he met fellow student Kate Middleton. Both graduated in 2005.
Founded in 1413, it is the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge.
Benjamin Franklin was awarded an honorary degree from St Andrews in 1759. Other notable alumni include former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, the website states.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, congratulated the university in a tweet: "A great accolade for St Andrews - and also underlines the strength of Scotland's higher education sector."
St Andrews was ranked in second place in both 2020 and 2021, past guides show, and third in 2022. It overtook Oxford, which topped the list in 2021 and 2022, while Cambridge was first in 2020. St Andrews led the way in major subjects such as economics, English, history and chemistry in the 2023 guide.
Collectively, the three universities dominate individual rankings for undergraduate subjects in 30 out of 66 subject areas. Matt Hiely-Rayner, who compiled the guide, told The Guardian there was the narrowest of margins separating the three universities.
Among the differentiating factors was St Andrews' incoming students having higher entry grades along with high student satisfaction scores for its teaching, as well as a larger number of graduates gaining employment or going on to postgraduate studies.
"For a small Scottish university to shake the established order repeatedly is a great tribute to everyone who works and studies here," St Andrews' vice-chancellor, Dame Sally Mapstone, told The Guardian.
"I hope that St Andrews' terrific students and all of my hard-working colleagues will feel the recognition of this very significant achievement. They entirely deserve it," she added.
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