10 August 2021

Record number of Scots students accepted to university, figures show

10 August 2021

A record number of Scottish students have been given places at Scottish universities, new figures show.

The statistics, published by education body Ucas on the day students received confirmation of their results, show 31,070 students from Scotland are staying in the country for university.

Since 2012, the figure has steadily increased from 22,220, and jumping by 10% from 28,240 since last year.

The figures also show an increase in pupils from the poorest areas going to universities with 4,700 being admitted – 300 more than last year.

However, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) statistics released on Tuesday found that the attainment gap between the richest and poorest school pupils increased this year, compared with last.

The difference between the richest and poorest children who gained between an A and a C in the Highers grew to 7.9% from 6.5% last year.

However, both figures are substantially less than the 16.9% before the pandemic struck.

Higher and further education minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Congratulations to everyone who has secured a place at university after what has been an extremely challenging year.

“The increase in acceptances for Scottish students gaining a place at a Scottish university is very encouraging.

“The figures also show that the number of people from the most deprived areas being accepted to university is at a record high.

“We want every young person in Scotland to have an equal chance of success, no matter their background or circumstances, and I am pleased we continue to make steady progress here.”

The number of EU students coming to Scotland this year has also fallen substantially as a result of Brexit.

Since 2016, the figure has fallen from 3,850 to 1,190.

Mr Hepburn added: “We have seen a sharp drop in EU students being accepted to come study in Scotland, this was always going to be an inevitable consequence of Brexit.

“EU students enrich our campus life and I hope we can still welcome many of them to our world-leading institutions.”

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