Our commitment to widening access

2021 is an important year for universities' work to widen access

Widening access is key a priority for Scotland’s universities and in recent years the sector has taken significant action to ensure higher education is more open and accessible to learners from all backgrounds.

The sector has now achieved the interim goal set by the Scottish Government that 16 per cent of university entrants should be from Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas by 2021.

Watch a short animation summarising this achievement:


Further reading:

Key Points:

  • The Commission on Widening Access (CoWA) resulted in a set of widening access targets for Scotland’s universities.
  • Our universities have achieved the interim 2021 target that 16 per cent of undergraduate entrants should be from SIMD20 backgrounds.
  • In academic year 2019/20, 16.4 per cent of entrants to university were from SIMD20 backgrounds.
  • Scotland’s universities remain committed to achieving the final 2030 target that SIMD20 learners should comprise 20% of university entrants.


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