Student numbers increase in Higher Education

Higher Education Minister welcomes HESA statistics.

Latest statistics show an increase in the number of students engaged in higher education in Scotland’s HEIs or colleges in 2015-16, with the number of Scottish domiciled full-time first degree entrants now 12 per cent higher than 2006-07.

Figures released by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) today, show:

  • an increase in the number of Scottish domiciled full time first degree entrants to Scottish HEIs. Since 2006-07, there has been a 12 per cent increase in entrants from this group to our universities
  • an increase in the number of students engaged in higher education study in one of Scotland’s HEIs or colleges, up by 1 per cent to 285,455
  • Scottish domiciled enrolments to Scottish HEIs has increased by 1060 to 154,975
  • Enrolments in Science subjects have increased by 2.3 per cent to 114,740 full person equivalent
  • First degree qualifiers from Scottish HEIs has increased by 3 per cent to 37,140

Welcoming the figures, Minister for Further, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: 

“I am delighted that the number of students in higher education at our universities and colleges is increasing.

“Scotland has a world class higher education system and one that will always be based on the principles of being free, fair and funded.  These latest HESA figures show a really positive picture for Scotland’s higher education system, we not only have more Scots in higher education but also gaining the qualifications they need to succeed and have worked hard to achieve – it’s a great success story.  

“It is also extremely heartening to see enrolments in science increase and we must continue to encourage more young people – particularly young women - to choose a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We will continue to do all that we can to ensure all of our young people get an equal chance to get a world class education.” 


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



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