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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Record Number of Students from Deprived Areas in Scottish Universities

The number of Scottish students from deprived areas progressing to Scottish universities is at an all-time high.

The latest statistics show 16.7% of Scottish domiciled full-time first degree students at Scottish universities are from the 20% most deprived areas in the country.

This is an increase from 16.4% in 2019/20 and represents an additional 545 students.

There has also been an increase in the number of students who are care experienced (from 87% in 2019/2020 to 91%) or from a deprived background (from 87.5% in 2019/2020 to 90.2%), returning for their second year.

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“The SNP Government wants 20% of students entering higher education to come from Scotland's most deprived backgrounds by 2030.

“As long as we have an SNP Government in Scotland, there is no reason why those who grew up in deprived areas should miss out on higher education because of a lack of funds.

“The record number of Scottish students from these areas enrolling in university for the first time speaks volumes for the possibilities and confidence SNP policies like free tuition are giving our young people.

“The Commissioner for Fair Access has previously said that Scotland is ‘setting the pace’ in the UK in widening participation.

“Every young person in North Ayrshire should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter their circumstances.”

Information on cost of living support for students can be found at: Cost of living support - (



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