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EMAs up as university access hits new record.
The Scottish Government's support for young people from more deprived backgrounds has been highlighted in a series of figures released today.
The number of students from the most deprived backgrounds entering Higher Education has hit a record high of 15.8 per cent in Scotland, according to a new publication from the Scottish Funding Council.
The news comes alongside an increase in the number of young people receiving Educational Maintenance Allowances (EMAs). The allowance – which is no longer available in England – was provided to 35,515 young people in Scotland in 2012-13, an overall increase of 3.3 per cent from the previous year.
26 per cent of EMA recipients are from the most deprived areas of Scotland, and this year also marks the highest number of school pupils to receive the payment since 2008-09.
Minister for Learning Alasdair Allan said:
"EMAs help young people from low income families stay on in education and enhance their skills and knowledge, meaning they can maximise their potential as they move towards the jobs market.
"I am very pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to offer more support this year, particularly for young women and men from disadvantaged backgrounds. While we recognise there is always more work to be done, these results further emphasise this government's commitment to young people particularly as England has abandoned the payment.
"Today's figures coincide with the publication of new figures by the SFC that show the number of entrants from the most deprived backgrounds is at a record high of 15.8 per cent.
"The Scottish Government is committed to education being based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay and enshrined the principle in statute through the Post 16 Education (Scotland) Act. No one should be prevented from entering Higher Education by their background and I expect the numbers to improve still further for future entrants."
Higher Education publication: http://www.sfc.ac.uk/reportspublications/reportspublications.aspx.