Aberdeen University has been named as the Scottish University of the Year after jumping up the rankings for the third year in a row.
The institution has risen up The Sunday Times Good University Guide table for three consecutive years and is now ranked 26th in the UK.
While two others in Scotland scored higher than it – St Andrews came third and Glasgow was 17th – Aberdeen has been given special recognition for its rapid ascent with the title of Scottish University of the Year.
It placed 40th in the 2017 list, marking the largest single-year jump of any university in the UK top 30.
Judges praised Aberdeen’s strong performance in teaching quality, degree outcomes and graduate prospects.
Newly-appointed principal George Boyne said was “absolutely delighted” and that he has every intention of further accelerating the success.
“I’ve been here in post for just over six weeks and now we have this wonderful accolade,” he said.
“We’re optimistic that we’ll continue on this path.
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“This is the third year in a row we’ve improved so there is a trend of success and we have the right steps in place to ensure that goes forward.”
But he admitted: “I wouldn’t say we’ll leap straight to the number one ranking.
“While it’s fair to talk about competitors, we’re not trying to be like anyone else here.
“We’re just trying to be the best Aberdeen University possibly can, and we’re on that path.”
The university has also been praised for its extra-curricular work with projects such as the National Decommissioning Centre helping to boost the economy.
Further afield the organisation has improved its international links with the opening of its first overseas campus in Qatar last year.
The judges also acknowledged its world-class medical research, which netted the university the Queen’s Anniversary Prize – the highest honour that can be bestowed upon it – earlier this year.
Alastair McCall, editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “Aberdeen’s sharp rise up our league table this year is the biggest of any university in the top 30 and gives it a ranking commensurate to its status as one of the UK’s leading academic institutions.
“It was a clear winner of our Scottish University of the Year award and earned a shortlisting for the UK University of the Year title off the back of improved performances in most of the metrics used in our tables.”
The rankings put St Andrews in the UK’s top three higher education institutions, behind only Oxford and Cambridge.
Mr McCall added: “No university in the UK can match St Andrews for its outstanding levels of student satisfaction.
“Ranked third in the UK this year for satisfaction with teaching quality and top again for satisfaction with the wider student experience, St Andrews students are a happy bunch.
“They know they’re on to a good thing and benefiting from a high-quality education that will stand them in good stead throughout their working lives ahead.”