Further increase in Scots studying at university

More university students taking education and science subjects.

The number of people studying education at a Scottish university has increased by 10% in a year, according to statistics published today.

Latest figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 2016-17 show an extra 1,335 students enrolled in courses to study education – the largest percentage increase of all subject areas and contrasting with a decline of 3% across the whole of the UK.

Science-based subjects also saw a 3% rise in student numbers – with an extra 3,800 people enrolled in courses and outpacing the rate of increase across the rest of the UK. In particular, the number of students taking a computer science course in Scotland rose by 9% compared to 2015-16.

The statistics also show that the number of Scots studying at Scottish higher education institutions increased by 3% in a year to nearly 160,000, including a 5% increase in postgraduate students.

Over the last decade, the number of Scots starting a full-time first degree course has risen by 12%.

Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“More people than ever before are coming to study at Scottish universities, including students resident here whose numbers have increased by 3%. It is a clear demonstration of the strength of Scotland’s reputation as a fantastic place to live, study, and work.

“In particular, these latest statistics show welcome signs that the study of education and science-based qualifications at university is increasing in popularity among students. It is one of our key priorities to encourage more people to enter these areas of the workforce, so it is good to see more students starting on this career path.”

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) statistics cover all higher education delivered at Scottish universities.


Further information on the HESA stats can be found on the HESA website: 



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