Record number of disadvantaged students attending Scottish universities

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Credit: Elena Coderoni Rigamonti

Jasmine Urquhart
Features Editor

New figures show an increase in the number of poor students in the year 2017/18

Recent figures show that 15.6 percent of students at Scottish universities in 2017/18 were from the twenty most deprived areas in Scotland, the highest number on record. This is up from last year’s figure of 13.8 percent, which was down on the previous year by a percentage of 0.2.
The statistics also reveal that the number of Scottish students entering university increased by 3.2 per cent, to over 100,000 students.
The head of Universities Scotland Alastair Sim said that alongside the “20 percent increase over five years” of disadvantaged students, there has been increases in the number of students who “disclose a disability and from a minority ethnic background”.
Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said: “These statistics highlight the good progress being made on widening access to higher education”.
In September 2018, the Minister made a visit to the University of Glasgow, announcing that a pledge of £16 million in 2019/20 would be made to “expand and increase bursaries for students from the lowest income families to ensure they do not miss the opportunity of a world-class higher education”.
He added during the visit: “I expect every university to take action now to ensure that, by 2021,10 percent of entrants to each university are from Scotland’s 20 percent most deprived backgrounds”.
The news comes after the Scottish Government put in motion a Commission on Widening Access, which set a target of 16 percent of students entering university to be from Scotland’s poorest backgrounds by 2021.