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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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Students and universities urge Scottish Government to follow Wales on twin-track support package to get through COVID

Scotland’s student and university leaders have joined together to commend the Welsh Government on its twin-track approach to supporting higher education students and institutions through the COVID crisis. This comes on the day that the Welsh Government announces a new package of £40 million available to support students facing financial hardship. The Welsh Government has…

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Universities Scotland responds to postponed return of students

Responding to the announcement from the Scottish Government on the return of students to university, a spokesperson for Universities Scotland said: “In light of the high prevalence of the virus across the country, it is appropriate that there should be an increased staggering of the return of students to campus. We look forward to receiving…

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Professor Gerry McCormac recognised with a knighthood

Universities Scotland’s Convener, Professor Gerry McCormac, has been recognised with a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours for his extraordinary public service. Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, who has been Principal at the University of Stirling since 2010, was given the honour in recognition of his services to higher education and to the economy. Professor…

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Response to Ministerial Statement on January return

Responding to the Ministerial Statement by John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister to the Scottish Parliament, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said: “Today’s announcement affirms the importance of students having access to in-person learning and support next term. We believe this is important for students’ learning, welfare and retention. “The requirement for a staggered…

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