The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council's 24 latest quality assessments have yielded one excellent, one unsatisfactory, 13 highly satisfactories and nine satisfactories, compared to self assessments of 13 excellents and 11 highly satisfactories.
Chris Masters, chairman of SHEFC's quality assessment committee, said: "It's slightly worrying that after three to four years of assessments, the institutions' view of themselves compared to the view their peers take of them is still so much at odds."
The report on the University of Abertay Dundee, judged unsatisfactory in building and surveying, praised staff for their "caring attitude" and rapport with students, but called for improvements in the encouragement of independent learning, internal quality control, and staff development. The university said it was very disappointed with the report and was examining the basis of the findings.
The five building and surveying reports were delayed because of complaints about a potential breach of confidentiality. Dr Masters said a full investigation had reported that there had been a regrettable breach of confidentiality, but it had not affected the assessment process or results.