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Regional Tertiary Pathfinders

SFC's Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability highlighted the key role of institutions in ensuring learners are able to meet the challenges and opportunities of a changing world.

Working in partnership with local partners, we are developing two Regional Tertiary Pathfinders in the North-east and South of Scotland. By considering provision in both regions, the Pathfinders represent a revised approach to strategic planning and skills alignment.

Regional Pathfinders banner image

Pathfinders_IconThe Pathfinders are being designed to achieve:

  • Alignment of provision against societal and employer needs.
  • Enhanced coherence and sustainability across provision.
  • Simpler pathways and improved outcomes for learners.

This work is also a key action of the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET).

Pathfinders work areas

The Pathfinders consist of several connected work areas:

Pathfinders_MapData and Analysis

Developing a robust understanding of current skills provision in both regions, identifying unmet demand, and reviewing available data and other evidence.

Regional Pathfinders – Data and Analysis Summary Report

This report summarises the findings of the Regional Tertiary Provision Pathfinders Data and Analysis workstream.

Regional Priorities

Collaborative pilots in both regions are building on the strong foundations of existing partnerships to assess demand and secure skills provision that balances the needs of students, employers, and their local economy and society.

Process Analysis

Engaging with institutions to consider how provision is planned, who is involved, and how it impacts the learner journey.

Reflections and Recommendations

Using the insights and learnings from these pilots to share reflections and recommendations for the wider education and skills system.

Regional Pathfinders pilots

The Regional Pilot activities have now been launched, with pilot projects in the North-East and South of Scotland.

National Advisory Board

The Pathfinders National Advisory Board consists of experts from across tertiary education, academic and civil society, key employers, and beyond. Drawing on their experience in Scotland and elsewhere, they will play a key role in shaping our work as it progresses.

Further information

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the Pathfinders, we would love to hear from you. You can contact the team at

SFC Pathfinders contacts are listed within the Access, Learning and Outcomes directorate.