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More action needed to increase participation, says UCU

16 July 2008

UCU Scotland today expressed its concern over the low levels of applicants to Scottish universities. Figures on university applications revealed an increase in Scottish applicants of just 2.7% - half of that in Wales (4.9%) and a quarter of that for England (11%)

Equally worrying, the union, said, was the minimal increase (0.9%) of overall applicants to Scottish universities, a tenth of the increase for English universities (9.7%). The union also pointed to a 2% decline in English applicants to Scottish universities and blamed inequitable funding regimes.

UCU Scotland spokesperson, Tony Axon, said: 'The abolition of the graduate endowment does not appear to have had much impact on university applications from Scottish residents. These figures suggest that fear of immediate student debt is still putting students off, regardless of what their repayments might be later in life.

'We fear that the decline in English students applying to study in Scotland is linked to the upfront fee and extra student support costs in Scotland. The government must review fee levels to halt the decline in applicants from the rest of the UK.

'Similarly, more has to be done to ensure Scottish students can afford to study in the rest of the UK as we have seen a decline in the number of Scots applying to English institutions that charge higher top-up fees.'

The full results and tables can be found on the UCAS website

Last updated: 14 December 2015