More Scottish students than ever in Scotland’s universities

A record 183,025 studied at Scottish universities in 2021-22.

A record number of Scottish domiciled students have enrolled at the country’s universities.

The latest Higher Education Student Statistics show the number of Scottish domiciled students studying at Scotland’s universities rose from 180,170 in 2020-21 to 183,025 in 2021-22.

There was also a record number of full-time Scottish domiciled first degree entrants recorded, with 5,595 Scots from Scotland’s most deprived areas entering university. This is an 41% increase since the establishment of the Commission on Widening Access.

Scottish universities also saw a record number of students qualifying in 2021-22, increasing by over 13% - from 82,850 in 2020-21 to 93,775 a year later.

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“It is hugely encouraging to see a record number of Scottish domiciled students taking advantage of the world-class universities on our doorstep. These figures demonstrate the continued strength of our university sector.

“We continue to make progress to widen access, with a record number of students from Scotland’s most deprived communities securing a place at university.

“We are committed to the principle that access to education should be based on the ability to learn. Every child growing up in Scotland should have an equal chance of attending university, regardless of their background and circumstances.

“The sharp drop in EU students coming to Scotland’s universities is bitterly disappointing – an inevitable consequence of the UK Government’s hugely damaging Brexit.

“The Scottish Government has invested record amounts in student support over recent years, and we will keep working with universities to ensure this funding continues to pay dividends.”


The Higher Education Student Statistics 2021-22 show:

  • A record number of students enrolled at Scottish HEIs in 2021-22: an increase from last year of 6.5% (+18,355) to 301,230 and a 30.9% increase since 2006-07.
    • Scottish domiciled              183,025        (+1.6%,   +2,855 since 2020-21)
    • rUK domiciled                    35,730          (+3.5%,   +1,210 since 2020-21)
    • Non-EU domiciled              65,300          (+37.1%, +17,670 since 2020-21)
    • EU domiciled                     17,140          (-16.6%,  -3,410 since 2020-21)

There was also a record 33,880 Scottish domiciled full-time first degree entrants, an increase of 595 from 2020-21.

Maintaining the Momentum Towards Fair Access: annual report 2022 - (


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