Record number of Scots going to Scottish universities

Over 1,000 more Scottish students accepted onto courses.

The number of Scottish residents going to university in Scotland has reached its highest ever level, latest UCAS figures show.

In 2017, 34,830 applicants living in Scotland were accepted for a place at a Scottish university – an increase of more than 1,000, or 3%. Scottish students represented 70% of all acceptances to universities in Scotland.

The number of English students accepted at Scottish universities also increased by 2.8 per cent to the highest figure on record.

The figures also show that students from European Union (EU) countries accepted to Scottish universities fell by 10 per cent, while the number from outside the EU increased  by 4.3 per cent.

Further and Higher Education Minister, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“These figures show that more people of all ages from Scotland are being accepted to study at Scottish universities.

“This is testament to the excellent reputation of our universities, but also shows that more people are benefiting from access to tuition-free higher education. Not only is this encouraging our brightest and best to stay in Scotland to study, it is also giving more people the opportunity to go on to university by removing one of the most significant financial barriers.

“While this is encouraging, there is still much more work to do to widen access to university to students from Scotland’s most deprived areas – and this remains a key focus of the Scottish Government and the sector.

“It is concerning to see the number of EU students coming to Scotland drop by 10% this year. Scottish universities pride themselves on their international student population and this is clear evidence that Brexit is sending a negative message to EU students considering Scotland for their studies.”

John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Today’s figures show a record number of Scottish students going to Scottish universities. They also show a welcome increase in the number of international students choosing to study at a Scottish University underlining Scotland’s continuing global appeal in higher education. We have noted the decrease in EU students in the report and will continue to monitor the effects of Brexit on European students coming to Scotland.”


The UCAS End of Cycle Report 2017 is being released in four waves. The figures are released in Patterns by geography on Monday 11 December.

UCAS only deals with around three-quarters of undergraduate entrants to Scottish universities, as part-time and sub degree courses do not go through UCAS. They do not deal with applications to Scottish colleges, and hence their figures typically cover under half of entrants to undergraduate level HE courses in Scotland overall i.e. across universities and colleges.


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