Widening access report sparks funding concerns

Higher education
Scottish universities have pledged to accept students from disadvantaged areas with lower exam results but they admit this will squeeze out some middle class candidates unless overall funding rises.

Universities Scotland, which represents principals, said they were all now committed to reviewing admissions systems in a way that adopts so-called “adjusted offers”, one of the key recommendations in the final report of the Commission on Widening Access, chaired by Dame Ruth Silver.

The Commission recommended a separate admissions system for disadvantaged pupils should be running by 2019 and should reflect the minimum academic standards required to complete a degree course successfully.

Only 1,335 school-leavers from the poorest 20 per cent of households went to university in Scotland in 2013/14, against 5,520 from the richest 20 per cent. The government wants the proportion of students from the poorest 20 per cent to rise to 20 per cent by 2030.

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