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Information published today by the university admissions service, UCAS, shows that applications to Scottish universities are currently at the highest level they have been in the last 10 years. According to the new figures, 128,110 people had applied by the end of June, just over 3 percent more than at the same point last year. 

International students applying from outside the European Union account for most of the increase, with the number of Scottish applicants remaining at around the same level as last year. The number of applicants from within the EU, however, has fallen by 2.3 percent.

The figures also show a decrease in the number of Scottish 18 year olds applying for a university place next year. This is against the backdrop of fewer under-18s in the UK population, a demographic trend set to change next year. Only around a third of Scottish full-time higher education is represented in the UCAS figures, mainly due to amount of higher education courses taught in Scotland’s colleges

The university applications process is now in the clearing phase which continues until 20 October. In a new development for 2020, UCAS is providing a ‘clearing plus’ scheme where applicants are personally matched to courses in which they may be interested.

Commenting on today’s figures, Dr Donna MacKinnon, Director of Access, Learning and Outcomes at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Recently we learned that more applicants were holding offers to Scottish universities than at this time last year and that there were fewer deferred applications.

“Today’s figures show that applications at this stage of the admissions process are the highest they have been in the last 10 years. Taken together, this is encouraging news for Scottish universities who are working hard to be able to provide a safe, high quality undergraduate experience for the next academic year. We will continue to keep a close eye on the figures.”  

Full details of the latest university applicant figures are now available on the UCAS website.