Summary of Key Findings
- Both the number of students (287,565) and the number of entrants (147,465) to HE in Scotland reached record levels in 2009-10. Compared to the previous year student numbers increased by 2.8% and entrant numbers by 2.3%.
- Recent trends in the number of Scottish students have shown increasing numbers in the last two years following a fall to 209,170 in 2007-08. Since 2007-08 the number of Scottish students has increased by 3.1%, students from the rest of the UK and from outside the UK have increased by 6.6% and 19.8% respectively (including an increase of 26.9% from EU students in the last two years).
- In 2009-10 entrants from deprived areas were under represented by -3.8 percentage points. In 2001-02 representation of this group stood at -5.8 percentage points, since then representation has increased each year and is now at the highest level recorded, due to both a slight depopulation of deprived areas and increased participation in HE from those areas.
- The number of qualifiers fell by 0.8% over the last year from a peak in 2008-09 of 84,030 to 83,395 in 2009-10 (roughly the same level as in 2007-08). The vast majority of the decrease has been caused by a reduction in qualifiers from sub-degree level courses, mostly at HEIs, and mainly in subjects allied to Medicine (down 10.0%) and Languages (down 13.3%).
- Of all qualifiers in 2009-10 two thirds (64.1%) achieved graduate level qualifications (first degree level or above); this is mostly driven by qualifications gained at HEIs where 87.8% achieved graduate level qualifications compared to 1.5% at colleges. The percentage of qualifiers leaving with graduate level qualifications has been increasing since 2001-02 when 56.6% of qualifiers achieved graduate level qualifications.