University scores well on widening access

Rhys Harper
Writer

A recent report published by the Scottish Funding Council has found an increase in the number of students from deprived backgrounds entering into higher education.

In a reversal of the slight decline over recent years, the intake proportion of entrants from lower socioeconomic backgrounds has risen by 0.5% on average across Scotland.

The report assessed data from all Scottish higher education institutions.They found that 29.4% of new students in 2012/13 came from among the 40% most deprived areas in Scotland, an increase from 2010/11 when the proportion stood at 28.9%. At Glasgow University, 11% of new students were found to have come from among the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland, higher than at the University of St Andrews or Edinburgh University, whose figures in the same grouping were found to be as low as 3.3% and 4.9% respectively.

Rachel Sandison, Director of the Recruitment and International Office at Glasgow University, told the Glasgow Guardian: “The University of Glasgow has always put considerable effort into recruiting students who have academic ability and talent, regardless of their family background, social or economic circumstance. These latest results are testament to this work.”

Sandison elaborated on the University’s access schemes: “We work with schools across Scotland to engage with pupils at an early stage to help raise aspirations, showcase university options and prepare them for entry and success. We also support adults wishing to return to education.”

She added: “Over the past few years the University has dramatically increased the number of undergraduate students from the most deprived areas of Scotland, reaching 28% of our total Scottish intake in 2014. This work is increasing with significant investment in developing in-school, on-campus and online activity to engage with a larger number of pupils from an earlier age, for entry into both general and a wider range of professional degrees.”

“Glasgow is proof that you can be a world-leading university in the top 100 and still support the success of students who have the talent and ambition irrespective of their background or circumstance.”

Liam King  SRC VP Student Support “It’s great news that universities in Scotland are taking on more talented students regardless of their backgrounds. The SRC works closely with the university when it comes to widening access and the SRC thinks that with organisational improvements and better use of resources the University could lead the sector in widening access to potential students from all backgrounds