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Record number of students from deprived areas at university

The number of Scottish students from the most deprived areas enrolling at university is at a record high, reveals new Higher Education Student Statistics.

The new data shows a new overall record number of students enrolling in Scottish institutions, an increase of 8.6% compared to last year with 22,385 more students enrolling.

This includes a new record high of Scottish domiciled students enrolling at university and a large increase in the number of non-EU domiciled students – up 17% on the previous year.

16.7% of Scottish domiciled full time first degree entrants to Scottish Higher Education Institutions are from the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland according to the statistics.

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said: ‘Every young person should have an equal chance of success no matter their background or circumstance, so it is great to see the number and proportion of Scots from the most deprived areas at university hit a record high. By 2030, we want 20% of students entering higher education to come from Scotland’s most deprived backgrounds and the Commissioner for Fair Access has previously said that Scotland is ‘setting the pace’ in the UK in widening participation.

‘Today’s data also shows the number of students enrolling at Scottish universities hit a new record high and we have seen a large increase in international students. This highlights the fact that Scotland, along with our world class higher education institutions, remains an attractive place to study and live for prospective students.

‘However, we have seen a continued drop in EU students coming to study in Scotland following Brexit. EU students enrich our campus life and I hope we can still welcome many of them to our world-leading institutions.’

In related news, a new report recommends urgent reforms to the UK’s social security system to protect low-income families from the cost of living crisis.

Photo by Johnny Briggs

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