A record number of students from Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas have successfully gained a place at university according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) figures published this morning, the third year in a row a new record has been set.
The UCAS figures show the number of prospective students from the 20% most deprived areas – SIMD 20 - successfully getting a place at a UK university has risen by 5% to a new record level for all ages and by 9% for 18 year olds, taking the increase for 18 year olds to 21% since 2016. This comes alongside UCAS reporting a 3.1% fall in the total number of 18 year olds in the overall population of Scotland.
This year the total number of Scottish students getting a place at a Scottish university has also hit a new record high of 28,970, up 4%.
The figures also show a 2% decrease in the number of EU students accepted to study in Scotland compared to last year.
The figures, produced by UCAS each year to coincide with the release of Scottish exam results, mark the latest progress in the SNP Government’s drive to widen access to higher education and close the attainment gap.
Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney MSP said:
“My congratulations to all the young people across Scotland who are receiving their exam results this morning after months of hard work and dedication. Well done to everyone who has secured a place at University.
“We want every young person in Scotland to have an equal chance of success, no matter their background or circumstance. These figures show that we are making good progress on widening access with the number of students from Scotland’s most deprived areas accepted into university increasing to a record high for the third year in a row."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP has always made it clear that we want everyone in Scotland to have the opportunity to study based on their ability to learn, not on their ability to pay.
“This is not only reflected in our free education policy but also in our consistent efforts to narrow the attainment gap.
“Of course there is still more to do and it’s good to know that we are on the right track.”