Scottish universities have seen a record number of prospective students applying to study for the academic year ahead, according to new figures from the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).
The number of individuals applying to Scottish institutions has increased by 10% to 140,440.
The figures show the number of Scottish applicants from the most deprived areas applying increased by 11% and there has been a 23% rise in non-EU international applicants.
This year’s figures also highlight a 41% decrease in EU applications to study in Scotland.
Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn MSP said:
“These figures show a steep rise in the number of prospective students looking to study at Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), with applicants from Scotland’s most deprived areas increasing by 11% to a record high.
“We have seen a big percentage increase in applicants from international students outside the EU and that again demonstrates the attractiveness of Scotland as a place to come to live and study.
“There was however a sharp drop in EU students applying to come to Scotland, which is an inevitable consequence of leaving the EU. We continue to work with our international partners to strengthen our education and research relationships through scholarships and by promoting Scottish learning and research globally, recognising the ongoing importance of our close relationships with our European neighbours.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“I’m delighted that there has been an 11% increase in applications from our most deprived areas.
“Under the SNP, there will always be free tuition, because we believe that an education should depend on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.
“To anyone in North Ayrshire who is unsure about applying to college or university, I would urge them to do so.”