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Record university applications

Published: 4 Feb 2016 00:01
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Increase in Scots-domiciled students applying to uni by January deadline.

A record number of Scots-domiciled students have applied to university for the upcoming academic year.

45,420 individual applicants in 2016 represents a one per cent increase on last year and a new record for the January deadline. This compares to similar increases for Wales and Northern and a drop of around 2,500 applicants from England.

The number of applications from Scotland to UK institutions totalled 223,730, an increase of 3,000 compared to this time last year, with 177,220 of those being made to Scottish universities, an increase of 2,340 on 2015.

The number of Scottish domiciles applying to Scottish Higher Education Institutions increased by one per cent compared to last year, increasing by 310 applicants to 44,740 in the 2016 cycle. This is a record high number of Scots applying to Scotland at this stage.

Application rates for 18 year olds living in the most deprived areas in Scotland also increased to the highest level recorded, with this group being 65 per cent more likely to apply compared to 2006.

These figures cover applicant and application totals in the 2016 UCAS cycle at the January 15 deadline, seen as the first reliable indicator of demand for full time higher education at universities in the UK.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said:

"This is further excellent news for Scotland's university sector which saw record-breaking levels of applications and acceptances in 2015. A new record number of applicants demonstrates real ambition on the part of Scotland's young people and underlines our global reputation for excellence in Higher Education.

"We have five institutions in the world's top 200, more per head of population than any other country except Luxembourg. We are continuing to invest over £1 billion in the sector, to ensure it keeps punching above its weight on a global level. With the highest percentage increase in applications from non-EU students, Scotland is fast becoming the country of choice on these islands for anyone seeking to study at university. That has wider benefits for our society and economy.

"Scottish domiciled students continue to benefit from free tuition, a key part of our work to ensure access to higher education remains based on the ability to learn not the ability to pay. The Commission on Widening Access will present its findings this spring, which will outline further ways to help even more students from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from a degree education"

Notes to editors

Full UCAS reports are available from their press office on