Widening Access to Scottish Higher Education: Getting in and Getting on

  • Sarah Minty (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


The Scottish White Paper on independence argued that ‘free education for those able to benefit is a core part of Scotland’s educational tradition and the values that underpin our educational system. One of the major achievements of devolved government in Scotland has been to restore this right to Scottish domiciled undergraduate students’ (Scottish Government 2013, p.198). Despite the Scottish Government’s frequent affirmation of its commitment to social justice principles, there has recently been a recognition of the need for much firmer action to tackle the social class gap in higher education participation, reflecting wider social inequalities in Scotland. In a recent policy statement, Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, commented: ‘… a child born today in one of our most deprived communities should have no less a chance of entering higher education than a child born in one of our least deprived. We want every child – whatever their background – to have an equal chance of attending university’. In order to identify the action needed to ensure that 20% of university students are drawn from the most socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods (as measured by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation), the Scottish Government has set up a Widening Access Commission to report in 2016. The papers during the course of this seminar provided evidence to inform the debate on widening access to higher education in Scotland.
Period1 Dec 2015
Event typeSeminar
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map


  • higher education
  • widening access
  • Scotland
  • student finance
  • tuition fees