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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Free Tuition Boosts University Applications

University applications by 18 year olds from the most deprived areas of Scotland are at their highest level ever, showing the SNP’s commitment to widening university access. New figures on University and College Admission Service applicant figures for 2016 show that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Scotland are 8% more likely to apply to university than they were last year and 65% more likely than in 2006. The number of Scots applying to study at Scottish universities has reached record levels, with more students from England, the EU and across the word seeking to come to Scotland to study than last year – demonstrating the strong global reputation of our top universities. Meanwhile the numbers of English applicants to Higher Education Institutions south of the border has dropped a further 1% and remains well below levels seen before tuition fees were introduced by Labour. Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said: “These figures are a welcome endorsement of Scotland’s university sector, showing that the SNP’s commitment to education based on the ability to learn, rather than the ability to pay, is reaping rewards. “With more young people from deprived communities applying to university than ever before, we are absolutely determined to build on our record in widening access to education. “In the coming months the SNP will outline even greater efforts to help more students from deprived backgrounds into university. “We have the highest ever number of Scots applying to study at our top universities and benefitting from free tuition under the SNP. “Meanwhile the situation in England has deteriorated with a drop in university and college applications in the past year, showing in stark terms the damaging impact of £9,000 a year tuition fees. “As home to some of the very best universities in the world, the fact that more students from England, the EU and beyond want to study in Scotland is a huge compliment to our excellent higher education sector.”


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