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Commission on Widening Access (CoWA)

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2014-15 set out the ambition that a child born at that time in one of Scotland’s most deprived communities should, by the time of leaving school, have the same chance of going to university as one born in one of the country’s least deprived areas.

Widening access

The Commission on Widening Access was established to advise Ministers on how to meet this ambition. Its final report, A Blueprint for Fairness was published in March 2016.

Commissioner for Fair Access

The Commissioner for Fair Access, Sir Peter Scott, is responsible for leading a system wide effort to deliver fair access in Scotland, including the development of a framework for fair access.

He published his fourth annual report, Higher education - re-committing to Fair Access - a plan for recovery: annual report 2021, to the Scottish Government in June 2021.

Other reports by the Commissioner, as well as various discussion papers and speeches are available on the Commissioner for Fair Access web page.

SFC Report on Widening Access

This report presents data relating to the Commission on Widening Access targets, and on Scottish-domiciled entrants to higher and further education in Scotland by socio-economic deprivation, gender, ethnicity, disability, care experience and age.

Current and previous editions are available on our Statistics publication schedule.

Access Delivery Group

The Access Delivery Group, established to help the Scottish Government tackle socioeconomic inequality in higher education, leads on implementing the recommendations contained in A Blueprint for Fairness.