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 believes there are specific opportunities to craft a new devolution settlement which will enable the university sector to make an even stronger contribution to a fairer and more prosperous Scotland within the United Kingdom. Read Universities Scotland's submission to the Smith Commission

This paper sets out the implications of CfE for university admissions, and is intended to serve as a helpful brief for universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Universities Scotland has produced it in response to suggestions from our 19 higher education institutions. Around 4,800 students of Scottish-domicile applied to at least one higher education institution in England, Wales or Northern Ireland through UCAS in 2014 therefore the pedagogic and qualification changes introduced by CfE will have an impact on higher education institutions beyond Scotland. Read the paper here

The introduction of Curriculum for Excellence in schools in Scotland is intended to result in changes to how pupils learn. New and revised qualifications are being introduced and there is a renewed emphasis on wider learning opportunities. Universities Scotland’s statement on Curriculum for Excellence summarises the individual statements on Curriculum for Excellence that higher education institutions have produced. Read the statement on Curriculum for Excellence.

Universities Scotland commissioned this literature review of widening access interventions which have been evaluated as successful, drawing not only on recent published literature, but also on the outcome agreements of the nineteen Scottish higher education institutions for 2012/13. Widening access has been made one of the policy priorities of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to be addressed in universities' outcome agreements for 2012/13. Read the report

Innovation and diversity help Scotland's 19 universities and higher education institutions take a leading place on the world stage. Download the new Universities Scotland infographic detailing why we consider a Scottish higher education to be one of the best in the world.

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

UK research assessment finds Scotland's higher education sector is "world-class" and delivering outstanding impact

Today (Thursday 18 December) sees the publication of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results for all 154 higher education institutions across the UK. Every one of Scotland's higher education institutions undertakes reseach judged to be of "world-leading" quality with 77 per cent of Scottish research submitted to REF2014 judged to be "world-leading" or "internationally excellent". Scotland also performs more highly than the UK average on impact of its research; a new measure for REF2014. 85.8% of Scotish research was judged to be at 4* or 3* leavels which means the research has had "outstanding" or "very consideratble" impact (compared to the UK average of 83.9 per cent). Read our full news release.


Universities Scotland responds to Scottish Government Cabinet reshuffle

Responding to the news of the Scottish Government Cabinet reshuffle which sees Angela Constance MSP replace Michael Russell in the role of Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland said:"We look forward to working with Angela Constance in the role of Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. Scotland's 19 higher education institutions are immensely proud to be rooted in Scotland and to serve Scotland in so many ways; making a significant social, cultural and economic contribution at a national level as well as helping to change individual lives. A great many opportunities lie ahead, as well as a few challenges, and we are very keen to work closely together with the Cabinet Secretary in meeting these, to deliver more for Scotland and to build on the international competitiveness of our institutions. We thank Mr Russell for the strong support he has shown higher education in his time in the role as Cabinet Secretary. Whilst we may not have always agreed with one another, we appreciate the approach he took to working with us which was characterised by close engagement and discussion with the sector."


Universities and business unite in call for Smith Commission to seize the opportunity to craft an immigration policy that meets Scotland's needs 

Scotland's universities and business leaders have united togetehr in calling upon the Smith Commission to seize the opportunity and ensure that partial devolution of immigration policy is included as an additional power for Scotland in teh Heads of Agreement to be reached by the end of this month. The staff, students and principals at Scotland's universities have written an open letter to the Smith Commission with key business organisations, including the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors Scotland and specialist sector bodies, ScotlandIS, which represents Scotland's IT and digital technology sector, and Scottish Renewables. Read the full joint news release