Gap between rich and poor closes at Scottish universities

The higher education participation gap between the most deprived parts of Scotland and the rest of the country has shrunk for the fifth year in a row.

July 30, 2011

In the most deprived fifth of Scotland, just 38 out of every 1,000 people were in higher education, compared with 58 elsewhere in the country, according to a report from the Scottish Funding Council.

The ratio between the two has improved to 0.66 in 2009-10, up steadily from 0.61 in 2005-06.

But this is partly because participation in the rest of Scotland has been dropping, down from 61.7 per 1,000 in 2005-6.

“Participation has declined in the less deprived class and has been increasing since 2007-08 in the most deprived class,” says the report, Scottish Participation in Further and Higher Education 2005-06 to 2009-10.

Participation was up in parts of Glasgow, central Scotland, Borders, Stirling, West and Mid-Lothian, the report says.

Excluding the Open University, the number of students in higher education in Scotland was up 1.3 per cent in 2009-10.

But participation per thousand was still down over the five years, from 52.3 in 2005-06 to 49.7 in 2009-10.

Mark Batho, chief executive of the SFC, said that the report showed “improving trends” but that there was still more to do.

Alasdair Allan, minister for learning and skills, said: “These figures show both an increase in the overall number of young Scots participating in higher education and a rise in the number of entrants from the most deprived areas.

“Life chances are being improved across Scotland and these figures underline the importance of our decision to rule out tuition fees, ensuring access to education continues to be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.”

Universities in Scotland are currently facing the prospect of a £268 million funding gap opening up with English universities because central funding is being largely withdrawn but they have not been allowed to raise home tuition fees.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Technical Officer (Paramedic)

Staffordshire University

Professor in Marketing

Henley Business School

Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Social Work

University Of The West Of Scotland

Research Service Manager

London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (lshtm)
See all jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

As the pay of BBC on-air talent is revealed, one academic comes clean about his salary

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Capsized woman and boat

Early career academics can be left to sink or swim when navigating the choppy waters of learning scholarly writing. Helen Sword says a more formal, communal approach can help everyone, especially women

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan