Comment on SFC’s Report on Widening Access

The Scottish Funding Council has published its annual Widening Access 2019-20 report today (Tuesday, 17 May 2022). The report shows an overall increase in the number of people undertaking degree courses from the most deprived backgrounds and that the Scottish Government’s targets for widening access have once again been met. The report also highlights the significant role that colleges play in offering individuals opportunities for progression and pathways into university.

Welcoming the report, Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:

“The report shows that equality of access is being achieved in the tertiary education sector for those living in Scotland’s most deprived communities which is encouraging.

“Scotland’s colleges make a substantial contribution to tertiary education, recruiting over 25% of Scottish-domiciled entrants to higher education courses from the 20% most deprived areas.

“In 2020-21, 41% of full-time first-degree entrants from the 20% most deprived areas progressed to university after graduating from college.

“The report also highlights the growing number of care-experienced students and those who are combining study with caring responsibilities. 57% of students with caring responsibilities are aged 25 or over. Again, this shows that colleges are continuing to make an impact and give people of all ages and backgrounds opportunities to improve their life chances and career prospects.”

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