Universities Scotland


The higher education sector in Scotland is diverse. It is made up of 15 universities, the Open University in Scotland, an art school, a conservatoire, and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC).

Universities Scotland has produced briefing papers which give an introduction to the main areas of our work within the higher education sector in Scotland. There are also facts and figures briefings which contain current data about each main activity. If you would like more detailed information, please contact the relevant member of staff through the contacts page.

All the publications listed below are available to download in PDF format. If you are having problems viewing the publications, you may need to download the free Acrobat Reader.

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Universities Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to the consultation led by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on quality assessment of higher education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and proposals for external examiners which would also impact in Scotland. All nations of the UK have an interest in a high-quality, learner-centred UK-wide higher education sector. Read Universities Scotland's submission 

The Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee led an inquiry into the current student funding support in Scotland and asked respondees to consider the impact of this system on widening access. Universities Scotland highlighted the requirement for sufficient funding while studying for all students and the unfair debt impact of the current loan system on the poorest students. Read Universities Scotland's written submission

Universities Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to the invitation from the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee to submit written evidence setting out our views on the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill. You can read our written evidence submission, made by the 4 September 2015 deadline, here.


Universities Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to the invitation from the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee  to submit written evidence setting out our views on the financial implications of the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill. You can read our written evidence submission, made by the 21 August 2015 deadline, here.

Scotland's universities believe in creating opportunities for people with the potential to succeed. Widening access is well established as a core activity for Scotland's 19 higher education institutions which means a deeply-held commitment to addressing underrepresentation within the student body. This paper was submitted to the Scottish Government's Commission on Widening Access on 20 July 2015 in response to its call for evidence. Read Universities Scotland's submission

Scroll over the map below and click to view contact details for our members.

Five-Point Plan for Innovation

Universities Scotland is an enthusiastic supporter of the Scottish Government’s ambition that Scotland should become a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovation nation. Universities are keen to play their role in this agenda as fully as possible and recognise that there is a need to enhance their innovation strategy and operations on an ongoing basis. Working collaboratively, universities have developed a set of actions – a five point plan – of additional things the sector can do in partnership with business and support agencies. Read the Universities Scotland Innovation Action Plan


Universities Scotland welcomes interim report from the Commission on Widening Access

Universities Scotland welcomed the interim report from the Commission on Widening Access, as published today [Thursday, 12 November], and repeated its support for the Commission's creative and joined-up approach to a challenge that spans all parts of our education system and society. Responding to the interim publication, Professor Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal at the University of Dundee said: "University Principals share the Commission's commitment to further improvement in access to higher education from underrepresented groups. We are encouraged by the direction of the Commission's work based on the interim report. Launching the Commission was a bold and exciting step for Scotland because it is the first attempt to take a genuinely joined-up approach to widening access. It acknowledges that the challenges, and therefore the solutions, sit in more than one part of Scottish society and spans the full range of education sectors." Read the full Universities Scotland news release 

Vacancy: Policy Officer (Learning & Teaching)
Salary: £24,041 to £26,711 per annum, Full Time, Permanent
Closing date: Sunday 29 November 2015

We have a vacancy for a Policy Officer in our team dealing with universities' learning, teaching and widening access policy issues. Working closely with Principals and with the Head of Learning & Teaching and Widening Access you will be responsible for developing policy, evidence and analysis to promote the university sector's success in these areas. You will have a gift for assimilating and summarising large amounts of evidence, understanding members' and stakeholders' priorities, and developing policy proposals that can influence our key audiences. You will have the capacity to be authoritative and persuasive in your presentation to senior audiences within and outside Universities Scotland. Your initial policy focuses will be enterprise, quality enhancement and student mobility. For further information and to apply online please visit: www.uukjobs.co.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=03615