Fewer students from poor areas going to university, figures show

The Scotsman is reporting that recent figures have shown that fewer students from poor areas are going to university.

The figures come despite the Scotish Government’s committment to their flagship policy of raising attainment among Scotland’s most deprived communities and making it easier for pupils from poorer backgrounds to gain access to university places.

The drop follows a slight increase for 2014-15 and takes the figure back to the same levels it was at two years ago – with the overall percentage of new entrants from the most disadvantaged communities making up 10.4 per cent of the total entry-level student population. 

That decrease comes despite the Commission on Widening Access recommending “by 2030 students from the 20 per cent most deprived backgrounds should represent 20 per cent of entrants to higher education”, with an interim target of 15.5 per cent by 2019-20.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has warned that without much more immediate, bold and ambitious action, those targets will be missed by decades, and is calling for the necessary investment, from universities, colleges and government, to ensure they are met. 

Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland’s president said: “These are incredibly disappointing figures, and show just how far we still have to go to secure our ambitions on fair access.

More at: Fewer students from poor areas going to university, figures show

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