Thursday 15-12-2016 - 11:55
Latest UCAS figures show the need for investment in access and opportunities.
UCAS have today released their ‘end of cycle’ report, for the 2015/16 admissions cycle. The report details a range of statistics related to university admissions, and shows that in Scotland:
• Young people from the most deprived backgrounds are 12% more likely to enter higher education through UCAS than last year. This is up 51% compared to a decade ago.
• 2016 saw a record number of Scottish students receive a university place – up to 35,700.
• The offer rate for Scottish applicants fell 59.6%, meaning fewer students were offered a place.
• However, the acceptance rate increased, meaning more young people were likely to be accepted onto a university place.
NUS Scotland has welcomed the figures a ‘glimmer of good news’, but warned that they starkly expose the ever growing gap between demand for a university place and the number of places available.
Ahead of the draft Scottish budget, being announced today, NUS Scotland has been calling on the Scottish Government to invest in additional university places, ensuring that we commit the necessary investment and resources to meet the targets that have been set by the recent Commission on Widening Access.
Vonnie Sandlan, President of NUS Scotland said:
“These figures contain a glimmer of hope, and show that we’re making further progress on increasing access for students from our most disadvantaged backgrounds. However, while fair access remains a national priority, we’re still far from realising the ambitions we’ve set, and not least the targets set by the recent Commission on Widening Access.
“These figures reinforce a continued concern, and an issue that must be addressed – the persistent gap between demand for a university place and the precious places on offer. That undoubtedly requires immediate, bold and radical action, which the Commission provides a blueprint for. But it also requires the necessary investment to secure those targets, and ensure the opportunities exist for all those with the talent and potential to succeed.
“It was really positive to see the Scottish Government commit to implement the recommendations of the Commission on Widening Access in full, including the targets it set. But that now requires the resources and investment to achieve. Some of the greatest progress we’ve seen in recent years came with investment in thousands of additional places for widening access, and these figures clearly show the need to increase those places further. Today will see the announcement of the Scottish draft budget, which presents the opportunity to do just that. We’ve made a clear and continued call for the budget to provide the necessary investment to ensure targets can be met in full, and ensure we further increase the places available.”
1. The full report is available here