More opportunities for students from poorer backgrounds
14 May 2014
New goals have been set to ensure a student’s background is no barrier to entering
further or higher education.
As part of the publication of outcome agreements for colleges and universities,
Education Secretary, Michael Russell, announced an increase of 2.5 percentage
points in the proportion of students from the most deprived communities who could
expect a place at a university in Scotland by 2016-17 compared to 2011-12.
Universities are taking a range of actions to widen participation including developing
their admissions policies to take into account students’ backgrounds and considering
how summer schools and other programmes could focus on students from deprived
or non-traditional backgrounds.
The Scottish Funding Council also expects the number of students articulating from
college to second or third year of university to increase to more than 4,000 by
2016-17 – a 41% rise from 2011-12 – in today’s publication.
Mr Russell said: “Outcome agreements give a greater transparency to the work our
universities and colleges do. They allow us to chart the real progress that has been
made in the three years since their introduction and demonstrate how the sectors
are contributing to our national outcomes. Today’s publication sets an ambitious
agenda for the coming years and our investment of £1.6 billion into further and
Laurence Howells, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said: “Colleges and
universities are continuing to be ambitious for Scotland and for their learners. In the
college sector mergers are leading to better support for students, a wider curriculum
and more students being able continue seamlessly to university courses.
“Universities are widening access to higher education in other ways too as well as
continuing to perform world-leading research and support innovation in our
economy. Today’s announcement is good news and we should all be proud of the
achievements of our colleges and universities.”