St Andrews University has today been ranked as the UK’s 3rd best University (1st in terms of student satisfaction), for the 5th time, only marginally behind Oxford (0.2%) and Cambridge. This reinforces Scotland’s reputation for excellent university education.
Scotland’s universities have a long history, with Scotland having 4 universities by the end of the 16th Century (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh), whilst England had to wait until the 1830’s before a 3rd university was created to join Oxford and Cambridge.
St Andrews, famous as the university where Prince William obtained his geography degree, meeting Kate Middleton in the process, dates back to 1413 when it was founded by Bishop Wardlaw. As with the other early universities, its purpose was to train clerics in theology although gradually these early syllabuses expanded to include medicine and languages, etc.
It was followed in 1451 by Glasgow University, founded by Bishop Turnbull, and then by Aberdeen University in 1495 when Bishop Elphinstone established King’s College.
Edinburgh, Scotland’s 4th ancient university, dates to 1583, and was Scotland’s first secular (non-church) university. Whilst it continued to teach divinity, it was also a liberal arts college.
There are now 14 universities in Scotland, drawing students from around the world.