There are 10 per cent more part-time students in Scottish higher education institutions this academic year than last, provisional figures out this week show, Olga Wojtas reports.
This brings the total number of part-timers up to 120,600 or about 1 per cent more than 1997-98, according to Scottish Higher Education Funding Council figures. The figures represent almost 950 full-time equivalents, more than 2,000 individual students.
The Scottish Office has introduced fee waivers for part-time undergraduates who are unemployed or from low-income households. It is also funding incentives for institutions to run part-time courses. SHEFC estimates that at least 750 students have benefited.
The number of full-time and sandwich students has increased marginally by about 550 full-time equivalent places, 0.5 per cent, to a total of just over 110,000, in line with the government's policy of keeping numbers steady.
A SHEFC spokeswoman said: "These figures demonstrate that the change in the arrangements for student fees has not reduced the total numbers enrolling in higher education in Scotland."
SHEFC also published the shift in student numbers between subjects, ranging from 16 per cent in computing and information science to a 2.8 per cent drop in education. There have also been falls in courses on built environment, catering and hospitality management, mathematics, statistics and operational research, engineering and technology, and business and administrative studies.