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Time to lift COVID restrictions on research

Scotland’s 19 universities are asking that the Scottish Government address an anomaly in the route-map out of COVID restrictions, which means that academics doing research in laboratories must still work at two metres distance from each other, in stark contrast to most other sectors of the economy which have been operating at one metre or…

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University leaders call for urgent clarity on plans for next academic year as new data shows high levels of student anxiety and fears about progression

The Principals of Scotland’s universities have called on the Scottish Government to provide clarity within the next fortnight on the arrangements for in-person teaching when the next academic year starts. The call comes as new polling data of over 500 students at Scotland’s universities shows that: 73 per cent feel the restrictions on in-person learning…

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Universities welcome show of strength in new world rankings

Universities Scotland has welcomed new global rankings which rates the sector in Scotland as one of the best in the world. The global rankings demonstrate Scotland’s strength in research with many universities bettering their scores from last year. The QS World University Rankings 2022, which evaluates over 1300 universities worldwide, sees six Scottish universities improve…

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Universities Scotland welcome ‘Universities and Scotland’ report from Scottish Affairs Committee

The report, which comes at a time which is described by the committee as a “perfect storm” for universities as long-term public underfunding of the sector meet the impact of both COVID-19 and Brexit. Reacting to the publication of the Scottish Affairs Committee report, ‘Universities and Scotland’, Universities Scotland Director Alastair Sim said: “This report…

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What’s in the manifestos for higher education?

Boab Thomson is a Public Affairs & Communications Executive at Universities Scotland. After the publication of the party manifestos ahead of May’s 2021 Scottish Parliament elections, Boab looks at what each party has to say about higher education and what that might mean for the sector in the next session of Parliament. Without stating the…

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Cuts to ODA funding undermines UK’s “Global Britain” agenda

Dr Lauren Knight is a Senior Policy Officer covering research and innovation at Universities Scotland. Following confirmation that the UK Government will cut Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding, Lauren writes about the impact of the decision on Scottish research and the UK’s place in the world. Last week, we were told to expect a sudden and sharp £120 million hole in…

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Universities Scotland response to SFC publication of additional and indicative funding allocations

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Funding Council’s additional funding allocations for 2020/21 and indicative allocations for 2021/22, Universities Scotland Director Alastair Sim said: “Universities welcome the increased resources allocated today by the Scottish Funding Council. The additional funding for 2020/21 is recognition of the work universities have done to support students through the pandemic….

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UCAS data cause for assurance in value of Scottish higher education

New data released by the university admissions service UCAS serves as a cause for optimism in the Scottish higher education sector. The January Equal Consideration Deadline 2021 data, published by UCAS on Thursday 18 February, show: Positive widening access statistics. Continued increase in applicants from the most disadvantaged background with a 15% increase (1,100 people)…

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Universities Scotland response to Scottish Government announcement of additional COVID funding

Responding to the announcement of additional funding from the Scottish Government to support colleges and universities during the pandemic, Universities Scotland Director Alastair Sim said: “The Scottish Government’s announcement of an additional £60 million one-off COVID consequential funding for universities and colleges is very welcome. The sector has faced a series of acute financial challenges…

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New widening access data a cause for celebration in Scotland

Universities in Scotland have reached a significant milestone in their commitment to widen access, with the latest figures showing 16.4% of students were from SIMD20 backgrounds in the academic year 2019/20. The Commission on Widening Access recommended that 16% of students should be from SIMD20 backgrounds by 2021 with an overall aim to reach 20%…

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