Document Abstract

Building on progress towards fair access

Presents the second report on Fair Access to higher education (HE) in Scotland outlining the progress made towards the Scottish Government target of having 20% of entrants to HE coming from the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland by 2030. Reports that there has been good progress made towards the government’s target, although students from deprived backgrounds tend to be concentrated in particular institutions. Discusses policy developments toward reaching the target including outreach and bridging programmes and the setting of minimum entry requirements for university courses. Looks at the use of area-based metrics (such as the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation - SIMD) and more individual-level indicators (such as free school meals registration) to measure progress towards fair access. Outlines school reforms such as the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence. Discusses the potential ‘displacement’ of less deprived applicants by those from deprived areas reporting that there is little evidence of this so far. Considers the implications of Brexit and the Augar review of student funding in England. Suggests that fair access should be seen in terms of the positive qualities that students from more deprived backgrounds bring to higher education and that fair access must be part of a wider commitment to social justice.


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Scott, Peter
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Scottish Government

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