Scotland's role as a net importer of students has been confirmed by figures from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council showing that a fifth of Scotland's 118,500 full-time and sandwich students come from elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Only 3 per cent come from other European Union countries, with a further 6 per cent coming from outside the EU.
SHEFC's statistical bulletin, covering 1995, reveals dramatic variations in the proportion of Scottish students in its 21 higher education institutions, ranging from 39 per cent at St Andrews University to 95 per cent for both Glasgow Caledonian University and St Andrew's College of Education in Glasgow.
The largest institutions were Strathclyde University, with more than 55,000 students, Glasgow University with more than 52,000 and Edinburgh University with more than 45,000. The rankings shift in terms of full-time equivalent numbers, putting Glasgow in the lead with 16,800, followed by Strathclyde with 16,100 and Edinburgh with 16,000.
Of full-time and sandwich students, 51 per cent were male, but this ranged from 16 per cent at Northern College of Education to 71 per cent at Heriot-Watt University. Three-quarters of the 10,700 full-time academic staff were male, with Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh the only institution with a majority of female staff.
The latest figures from the Scottish Office show increasing numbers of higher education students in Scotland's 43 further education colleges. Almost 55,000 of 212,500 students were on higher education courses in 1994/95, a rise of 16 per cent on the previous session.