News

Our statement on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her remarkable and unrivalled reign leaves an enduring legacy for the nation and our universities. Her Majesty was an ardent supporter of universities and of education as a force for good. Through her patronage of The Queen’s Anniversary…

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Universities welcome SQA exam results

Universities Scotland has welcomed the publication of SQA exam results across Scotland. Today, statistical data released by UCAS show that as of 9 August: 60.1% of Scottish students gained a place at their firm choice university, up from the pre-pandemic level of 57.5% in 2019. This is a new record. 29,630 students have accepted a…

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Message to university applicants ahead of results day

We understand that the days ahead of results day, Tuesday 9 August, are always an anxious time for learners and we want to offer reassurance to applicants. Universities know that this year has been another difficult one for those working towards senior phase qualifications. It is the first year since 2019 that exams have returned…

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Comment on the QAA’s change of status in England

Following the decision of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to demit its status as a Designated Quality Body in England, Universities Scotland have commented: “Scotland’s quality arrangements for higher education have been different to the rest of the UK for close to twenty years, whilst operating within a broader UK system. We greatly value our…

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Statement on participation in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

All of Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions have decided not to participate in the revised Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) as proposed by the Office for Students (OfS). TEF is mandatory for universities in England and optional for universities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Having considered the TEF carefully, Scottish universities have decided not to…

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Ensuring student safety through university admissions

Universities Scotland was first asked to respond to a media enquiry from the Times on Monday, 4 July in regard to university application processes and the means by which it is possible for universities to determine whether students have unspent criminal convictions or otherwise pose a heightened risk to others. The Times then ran this…

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Queen’s Birthday Honours recognises Dame Sally Mapstone

Professor Sally Mapstone has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in her Platinum Jubilee year. Sally has been made a DBE for her extraordinary services to higher education. Dame Sally has been Principal and Vice Chancellor the University of St Andrews since 2016. She has been Vice Convener of Universities Scotland since 2020 and…

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Response to resource spending review

The Scottish Government published its resource spending review today, setting out its high-level spending intentions to 2026/27. It includes an indicative, combined allocation for higher education and further education. The combined budget is set to be flat in cash terms for the next four years at £1,501 million. Responding to the announcement, which represents a…

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Our response to Sir Peter Scott’s Final Report as Commissioner for Fair Access

Responding to the final report from the Commission for Fair Access, Sir Peter Scott, Director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim said: “Scotland’s universities have achieved a lot when it comes to widening access in recent years. As a sector, we have introduced the most progressive admissions policies for students in the UK and have reached…

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Research and innovation at risk with cuts to funding

University leaders are warning that Scotland’s hard won reputation for research and innovation is at risk. The Scottish Funding Council has issued its funding allocations for universities for the next academic year 2022/23 including the Research Excellence Grant. The Research Excellence Grant supports top-quality research with the aim to keep Scotland globally competitive and attractive…

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