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Record numbers studying HE courses

Record numbers studying HE courses

26 Mar 2019

New figures from the Scottish Funding Council show that a record 296,695 students studied higher education courses at Scotland’s universities and colleges in 2017-18. Today’s report also shows a record number of Scottish domiciled students entering the system last year at first degree level (37,410).

The report, which looks at the provision of higher education and student attainment over a ten-year period, additionally found that the number of students gaining a qualification reached an all-time high. Of the 104,160 students leaving university or college with a higher education qualification, almost 67% achieved graduate-level qualifications.

Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“The good news from these figures is that more students living in Scotland are benefitting from higher education courses than ever before. For students graduating from our world-leading universities and colleges this means better life chances and career prospects. For Scotland’s economy it means a more highly-skilled and adaptable work force.”

Today also sees the publication of Scottish Funding Council statistics on the numbers of students eligible for funding at Scotland’s 19 universities.

The report shows that between 2014-15 and 2018-19, there was a 17.8% increase in the number of taught postgraduate students, a 7.6% increase in the number of research postgraduate students, and a 1.9% increase in the number of undergraduate students.

Over 40% of the increase in taught postgraduates was due to increased enrolments on Initial Teacher Education courses. A change in tuition fee arrangements in 2017-18, enabling taught postgraduate students to borrow up to £5,500 for tuition fees and a further £4,500 for living expenses is also likely to have contributed to the 4.2% increase in taught postgraduate students numbers in 2018-19.

Both reports as well as a statistical release on college staffing data can be found on the SFC website.