In Dundee in 1881, Miss Mary Ann Baxter and her cousin, John Boyd Baxter - two of the famous Baxter family, who made their money from the Jute mills of the city - donated £140,000 to the creation of a college in Dundee. This was the beginning of the University of Dundee.
From the start it was an institution that stood out. Instead of professors with ivory tower backgrounds, it employed bright young people who realised that to compete in the modern world, Great Britain needed to improve its technological output. William Peterson, who was a Latinist and Scholar, became the inaugural Principal in 1882 at the tender age of 26. Patrick Geddes, who didn’t have a degree, was professor of botany and one of the foremost thinkers in the world.
Central to the institution's founding deed was that it should be used for "promoting the education of persons of both sexes, and the study of science, literature, and the fine arts”.
The Baxters' plans were for University College Dundee to offer a full range of subjects (other than Divinity – no-one was to be made to declare their religious convictions and no religious subject was to be taught).
The generous donations to the new University College saw the establishment of a Mechanics’ Institution, adjacent to the College, the construction of a Chemistry laboratory, and leading scholars appointed to the new Chairs. These included D’Arcy Thompson (Biology, later Natural History), James Alfred Ewing (Engineering), and Thomas Carnelley (Chemistry).
The new University was situated on the Nethergate, between Park Place and Small’s Wynd. To house the 373 students that signed up in the first year, four detached houses were bought by Mary Ann Baxter for £35,000 and a corridor was constructed at the rear to link the properties. Today those buildings house the Business School.
Initially, UCD and St Andrews worked alongside each other in relative harmony. Dundee students were able to graduate in Science from St Andrews, despite never having attended any classes in the smaller town.
Relations, however, soon became strained over the issue of the Medical School and whether chairs of Anatomy and Physiology should be established in Dundee, St Andrews or both, setting the stage for the tensions that would bedevil the relationship between the two institutions for the next few decades.
The National Student Survey (NSS) surveys final-year undergraduate students each year. It asks them to rate their satisfaction with different aspects of their university learning experience.
Dundee is in the UK's top 10
The University of Dundee has been ranked joint 8th in the UK for student experience, and joint 2nd within Scotland. This is the third successive year in which we have achieved a Top 10 result. The University recorded overall satisfaction of 88 per cent, well above the sector and Scottish averages.
The survey asks students 27 questions across eight themes relating to their experiences of learning and teaching. Across these themes Dundee is ranked 5th in the UK for 'Teaching On My Course', 5th for Learning Resources, 9th for Academic Support and 10th for Learning Community.
The University of Dundee ranked 2nd in Scotland in the 2018 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.
The 2018 survey ranks 116 universities across the UK. Dundee is placed 14th overall, one place higher than 2017.
More than 20,000 undergraduate students across the UK contributed to the 2018 survey. The full results can be seen at Times Higher Education
International students at the University of Dundee have rated their overall satisfaction at over 93 per cent, one of the highest scores in the latest International Student Barometer (ISB).
With feedback from over 3 million students worldwide across all student types, levels and years of study, the ISB is the world's largest annual survey of international students.
The results of ISB’s Autumn 2017 survey have just been released to participating universities.
Overall satisfaction among the Dundee students rose from 90.9 per cent in 2016 to 93.7 per cent, the third highest score out of the 31 UK universities who took part and seventh among the 120 universities worldwide in the survey.
Dundee had the highest score globally for ‘satisfaction with Support’, at 96.6 per cent, and on ‘satisfaction with Living’ was highest in the UK and third globally at 92.5 per cent.
The ISB is the leading benchmarking tool used to track the international student experience. It is independently administered for universities by the International Graduate Insight Group.
They are one of the UK’s top 30 in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
This year’s edition of the guide highlighted our strengths in teaching excellence, student experience and graduate prospects, with Dundee 2nd in Scotland for each of these categories.
The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
The TEF was introduced by the UK Government to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching.
The ranking places Dundee among an elite group of British universities licensed to use the TEF Gold Award for the next three years.
Ranked 29th in the UK and 4th in Scotland
They are rated 3rd in the UK for quality of teaching, 5th for graduate prospects and 10th for overall student satisfaction, all results which point to the quality of education and training we provide, and the commitment of staff and students across the University community.
In the subject rankings Dentistry is our top performer, taking the number one position in the UK and there are top ten performances also in Law (3rd), Biosciences (6th), Medicine (8th),Social Work (9th) and Modern Languages & Linguistics (10th)
View the full tables on the Guardian University Guide website
The Times Higher Education Golden Age University Rankings cover universities established in the two decades between 1945 and 1967, encompassing 200 institutions from 44 different countries in 2018. Dundee was ranked 1st in Scotland, 8th in the UK and 22nd in the world in the table. They are first in Scotland and sixth in the UK for graduate prospects, with over 85% of our recent graduates going on to graduate level employment or further study. This is testimony to the quality of the education and training they provide and the talent and hard work of their students. The 2019 edition of the Guide also showed a notable rise in the entry qualifications of tjeor students to 15th in the UK, while our overall ranking of 31st (down one place from last year) sustains our overall position after strong rises in recent years.
They are number one in the UK for forensic sciences. They also achieved top ten placings for eight other subjects – Dentistry (2nd), Education (3rd), Medical Technology (5th), Anatomy & Physiology (6th), Biological Sciences (6th), Medicine (6th), Law (8th) and Art & Design (9th).
Their subject rankings improved in three quarters of our subjects, with double-digit rises in the tables in Accounting & Finance, Business & Management, Economics, Geography & Environmental Science, History, Mechanical Engineering, Nursing and Physics & Astronomy.
The survey, published by the Higher Education Statistics Authority in June 2018, shows that 96.4%of Dundee graduates were in work or further study six months after graduation, which was a new record for the University.
The number in graduate level work or study (positive destinations) was 82%, one of our best-ever returns.
These results were derived from the last ever DLHE Survey 6 months after graduation. In future, graduates will be surveyed 15 months after graduation in the new Graduate Outcomes survey.