10 facts about Scotland’s colleges and universities

Whether a young person chooses university, college, vocational training or employment, the SNP government is committed to ensuring that they get the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Here are 10 facts about Scotland’s colleges and universities, under the SNP. 

1.  Free tuition has been maintained, saving students in Scotland up to £27,000 compared to the cost of studying in England. 

2.  Scotland continues to punch above its weight with five universities in the top 200 – more than any other country per head of population except Luxembourg (Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2017).

3.  A record number of Scots have been supported into university, and young people from the most deprived areas are now more likely to study at university. But there’s much still to do. That’s why we’re taking forward a range of actions to ensure that by 2030 students from the 20 per cent most deprived backgrounds represent 20 per cent of university entrants.

4.  More young women entering Scottish universities are choosing to study science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and now make up 48 per cent of all those gaining degrees.

5.  The proportion of graduates from Scottish universities going on to work or further study is at a record high – and is higher than in the rest of the UK. 

6.  Over 117,000 full-time equivalent college places are now being provided – exceeding our commitment to maintain 116,000 places. And the number of full-time college students completing recognised higher education qualifications is at all-time high.

7.  We’ve expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland – now scrapped for new students south of the border – to support even more school pupils and college students from low income families.

8.  The Disabled Students Allowance in Scotland has been protected and bursaries for students have been maintained, while the Tories have abolished both elsewhere in the UK.

9.  We have invested over £550 million in college estates between 2007 and 2015. We’re supporting a further £300 million of investment to deliver new campuses at City of Glasgow, Inverness and Ayrshire Colleges. And Forth Valley and Fife Colleges will share £140 million for new campuses too.

10. 209,214 young people have had the opportunity to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship since 2007. And by 2020 a further 30,000 opportunities will be available every year.

Read more about how we’re working to improve Scotland’s education system here.