Scots get Pounds 2 million social inclusion fund

June 16, 2000

More than 1,000 additional Scots from under-represented groups will win higher education places in the coming academic year, thanks to a Pounds 2 million investment package from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

Shefc has awarded more than 500 full-time equivalent places for part-time students as part of its ongoing wider access initiative. Some 300 places were allocated by a formula and 200 through a bidding system, after institutions submitted plans of how they would use the places to meet social inclusion needs.

A significant proportion of the new places has gone to new universities with a track record in attracting students from disadvantaged groups, notably Glasgow Caledonian, Paisley and Abertay Dundee. But Shefc is also rewarding institutions, such as St Andrews University, which have only recently set up part-time courses aimed at widening access.

John Sizer, chief executive of Shefc, said: "Part-time courses are a vital route for people who, because of personal circumstances, might not otherwise consider higher education."

A spokesman for Henry McLeish, Scotland's minister for enterprise and lifelong learning, said the minister was concerned that the number of entrants from lower income groups was not rising, given the Scottish Executive's goal of making Scotland a "learning nation". But he denied reports that Mr McLeish was considering financial sanctions against institutions that did not increase their proportion of such entrants.

"There will not be financial penalties for universities. The Scottish Executive is committed to widening access and that means providing more funds for universities to tackle the issues," he said.

But Richard Baker, president of the National Union of Students Scotland, accused some universities of not doing enough. "While some universities are making huge strides, others are selecting students on criteria that favour those from affluent backgrounds," he said.

"It is time for all institutions to look beyond the traditional models to the further education sector for entrance qualifications. Universities must also look to their image and culture as a factor that alienates many students."

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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

Cricket player and umpire exchanging bribe

The need to accommodate foreign students undermines domestic practices, says Lincoln Allison, spying parallels between UK universities and global sports bodies such as Fifa