Retention rates at Scottish Universities improve for fourth consecutive year

Responding to the latest HESA data release on non-continuation of studies, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:

“This is now the second year in a row where the retention rate in Scotland is better than the UK average. This is significant and a cause for celebration. Universities have dedicated significant time and effort to ensure that students get the most of their studies and time at university.

“Retention is such an important part of our work on widening access. Universities’ goal is to support students to achieve positive outcomes and that is bigger and more meaningful than just getting students into university.

“We take heart from today’s figures but we are not complacent. The work to improve retention will continue at all our universities with continued investment in student support, creating a welcoming campus for students of all ages, background and experience.”


  • Non-continuation summary: UK Performance Indicators 2017/18 data is available here:
  • The percentage of UK domiciled entrants not continuing in HE after their first year by location of HE provider for young people has fallen from 6.2% in 2012/13 to 5.8% in 2016/17. The UK average in 2016/17 was 6.3%.