Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Funding Council’s Report on Widening Access 2016-17, Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“These figures are a stark reminder of why this Government was right to take the action we did on widening access.
“They show that in the four years up to 2016-17 nothing had changed and, on their own, universities were not making improvement in increasing the percentage of students from the 20% most deprived areas.
“The Commission on Widening Access reported in March 2016, by which time the vast majority of students had already applied for the 2016-17 academic year. So these figures provide a baseline from which to judge how successfully the Commission’s recommendations will be implemented – at a national level but also at an individual institution level.
“More recent figures from UCAS show a 13% increase in the number of Scots from disadvantaged areas getting a place to study at a Scottish university in 2017-18. So we expect to see demonstrable progress next year and beyond.”
- The Scottish Funding Council report on Widening Access 2016-17 can be viewed on the Scottish Funding Council website. http://www.sfc.ac.uk/publications-statistics/statistical-publications/statistical-publications-2018/SFCST062018.aspx
- The data shows that, in 2016-17, 13.8% of full-time first degree entrants were from SIMD20. For all Higher Education entrants (including sub-degree and college), 17.7% are from SIMD 20.
- The Commission on Widening Access target, accepted by the Scottish Government is, by 2030, students from the 20% most deprived backgrounds should represent 20% of entrants to higher education, with equality of access seen in both the college and university sector.
- To drive forward progress to the 2030 goal the interim targets are:
– 16% of full-time first degree entrants to Scottish universities from the 20% most deprived areas (SIMD20) by 2021;
– 18% of full-time first degree entrants to Scottish universities from the 20% most deprived areas (SIMD20) by 2026;
– By 2021, an individual institutional target for universities of 10%.
- The Commission’s final report was published in March 2016. The main UCAS deadline for the 2016-17 academic year was January 2016.
- The UCAS 2017 End of Cycle report (published December/January) showed a 13% increase in the number of Scots from the most deprived communities getting places to study at a Scottish university in 2017 (4,565 in 2016 to 5,170 in 2017).
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New figures have been published today by the Scottish Funding Council examining the higher education sector in Scotland in 2016-17.
Read the key points from the publication:
Commenting on the figures, Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“It is welcome to see in these latest statistics that we have a record number of post-graduate students and increases in both part-time and older learners.
“This Government is determined to make higher education as accessible as possible to everyone in Scotland. We recognise the importance of post-graduate study and providing the opportunities for people to get a higher education qualification later in life. That is why we are enabling even more people to study for a postgraduate qualification in the coming years by expanding access to tuition fee loans and living cost loans to students studying by distance learning.
“What these figures show is that the higher education sector in this country is continuing to go from strength to strength, with colleges playing a vital role in the delivery of many higher education courses across Scotland.”
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In academic year 2014/15, SFC supported seven early adopter college regions to work in partnership with local authorities, schools, employers and other key partners to explore and develop senior phase vocational pathways. The document provides a final evaluation of the early adopter and highlights the following key elements:
- Strategic regional partnership working and planning.
- A regional co-ordinator who can turn strategic commitment into reality.
- Effective employer engagement and incorporation of work based learning into pathways.
- Local authorities and schools with a strong orientation towards vocational pathways.
- Achieving space in a timetable and overcoming the fear of “dropping a higher”.
- An approach to partnership working that is systemic and embedded and is not reliant on “good will” and relationships.
- Scalability of the provision in terms of capacity of colleges to deliver higher volumes of this provision verses the displacement of other activity.
- Scottish Government working with national partners should lead a national marketing campaign on vocational pathways including employers.
- A discussion on how far we have come in securing more proactive employer engagement and how that is to be measured and assessed.
- Promoting the value and benefits of vocational pathways as an alternative route to getting a university degree.
- Focus groups with the 2014-15 cohorts to ascertain how young pupils made the decision to undertake a vocational pathway.
Access the report here.