Category Archives: Stats

Who pays for free higher education? The case of Scotland

By Lucy Hunter Blackburn

Student debt is not really an issue in Scotland.  This common belief is based on the country’s well-known policy of free tuition. It is pretty much true, for Scots whose families can cover their living costs in cash or kind.  The picture is different, however, for those whose starting point is less privileged. Indeed, Scotland is an instructive case for what happens when fees become the whole focus of political debate about student debt and “ability to pay”.

Lucy Hunter Fig 1

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History of student number controls

With the abolition of student number controls this week, it is a good time to look at a history of how governments have tried to control student numbers

Student Control Numbers

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30% of ABB+ students don’t have A-levels

According to UCAS table2a http://www.ucas.com/system/files/ucas-interim-assesement-entry-year-report-2013.pdf, 30% of ABB+ students don’t have A-levels. The majority have BTECs, though there are many other equivalent qualifications, listed here: http://www.ucas.com/sites/default/files/ABB%2Btable.pdf

Table 2b shows that the number of students with BTECs has increased dramatically since 2010.

So which unis are expanding?

Another increase in English students at Scottish unis despite price!

New UCAS data show another increase for English students studying at Scottish Higher Education Institutions. But since 2012, Scottish HEIs can charge English students as much as £9k per year = £36k for a 4 year degree, versus max £27k in England. Strange that English participation in Scotland HEIs keeps rising!

Eng_dom