Pupils put off by costs

September 5, 1997

A SCOTTISH access course has warned that pupils from under-represented groups are reluctant to enter higher education following the Government's proposals for student fees.

The Lothian Equal Access Programme for Schools, which aims to encourage higher education applicants from families and communities with little or no experience of the sector, is unique in running a summer school for pupils with offers of degree places anywhere in the country.

It is funded by Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Napier universities and the region's four local authorities.

Coordinator Elspeth Turner said: "I've spoken to more than 80 students, and one in three has expressed doubt about whether they will progress to higher education because of the financial situation. That compares with one in ten last year."

Ms Turner said a very much higher proportion were also saying they preferred to apply for a shorter English degree course.

LEAPS summer school numbers have almost doubled over the past year from 70 to 130, and preliminary figures show more than 70 have won admission to higher education on the basis of their summer school report.

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