New report on access to higher education in Scotland

Date: 1st June 2016

Scotland is the worst in the UK for poorest children going straight to university, new research from the Sutton Trust has revealed.

The research shows that virtually all the growth in higher education places for disadvantaged students in Scotland over the last decade has been provided by colleges rather than universities.

The study 'Access in Scotland', led by Professor Sheila Riddell of the University of Edinburgh, provides new analysis of official data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency showing that 90% of all growth in those first entering Scottish higher education has been through sub-degree courses in colleges.

The report shows that while Scots are more likely than their English counterparts to enter some form of higher education, they are less likely to be able to go straight to university, and many of those that do so through such 'articulation' often have to repeat at least one year.

In 2013-14, 55% of Scots entered higher education by the age of 30, with 20.9% starting at an FE college and 34.1% going straight to university after school. In England 46.6% entered higher education, with just 6% starting at FE colleges and other non-university providers. Half of the Scottish students who move from college to university are required to repeat one or more years, and this is more likely if they move to an older university.