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.
Scroll over the map below and click to view contact details for our members.
Advances on access to university for students of all backgrounds shows that taking a wide approach to widening access pays off
Figures released today by the Scottish Funding Council [Wednesday 25 March] in its ninth Learning for All report show increases in the number of students starting university from across a wide range of under-represented groups including: students living in Scotland's most deprived 20 and 40 per cent of neighbourhoods - up 10.1 per cent and 8 per cent respectively on last year; pupils from low participation schools - up 11.7 per cent on last year; and students who enter university direct from college with full recognition of their Higher National qualification - up 9.2 per cent on last year. Read the full Universities Scotland news release.
Universities Scotland's response to the Scottish Government's Consultation on a Higher Education Governance Bill
Universities Scotland has today, Tuesday 3 February, published its response to the Scottish Government's university governance consultation.
You can read the response in full here. Professor Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland, has commented on a number of aspects of the university governance consultation, which can be read here.
On university autonomy and diversity, Professor Downes said: "Principals believe in inclusive, transparent and robustly accountable models of governance and to that end we have common ground amongst our stakeholders and Government. We are utterly convinced that universities are most successful when they can operate with high levels of autonomy as the evidence from around the world supports this. Therefore some of the proposals are very worrying as they would unquestionably move Scotland towards a less autonomous model of university governance and impose greater uniformity in a one-size-fits-all approach."
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.