High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: March 2014
Higher Education Students and Qualifiers in Scotland
The number of students (278,765) to HE in Scotland fell in 2012-13 whereas the number of entrants rose (133,415). Compared to the previous year student numbers decreased by 1% and entrant numbers increased by 1%.
In general, the number of Scottish students increased year on year over the past decade, reaching an all-time high in 2010-11. Despite falling in the last two academic years, the latest figure is higher than any year prior to 2009-10.
The trends are different for full-time and part-time students. The number of full-time students increased in almost every year, before falling in the most recent year (198,405 in 2012-13, an decrease of 0.5% from 199,430 in 2011-12). The number of part-time students rose between 2003-04 and 2006-07, but fell in each of the following six years including 2012-13 (down by 2.2%, from 82,200 in 2011-12 to 80,355 in 2012-13).
In 2012-13 entrants from deprived areas were under-represented by 3.5 percentage points. In 2004-05 under-representation of this group stood at 5.0 percentage points; since then representation has improved year on year, with the exception of 2011-12 (when entrants from deprived areas were under-represented by 3.9 percentage points). This improvement was due to increased participation in HE from deprived areas to a record high level of 15.8% in 2012-13.
The number of qualifiers increased by 2.9% over the last year, from 92,870 in 2011-12 to a record high of 95,580 in 2012-13. The number of qualifiers increased in almost every year between 2003-04 and 2012-13 and increased by 27% in total over the period. In 2012-13 the number of HE qualifiers from HEIs increased by 3 per cent (2,080) to 70,010 and the number of HE qualifiers from colleges also increased by 3 per cent (630) to 25,565 in 2012/13.
Of all qualifiers in 2012-13 two thirds (64.5%) achieved graduate level qualifications (first degree level or above); this is mostly driven by qualifications gained at HEIs where 87.2% achieved graduate level qualifications compared to 2.3% at colleges. The percentage of qualifiers leaving with graduate level qualifications has been increasing since 2001-02 when 56.6% of qualifiers achieved graduate level qualifications.
Sources: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC).