More women than men in higher education in Scotland

Exam hall
Image caption More women than men are entering higher education.

The number of young women in higher education in Scotland remains higher than the number of young men.

Figures released by the Scottish Funding Council indicate that almost 50% of women under the age of 21 are students - 10% ahead of the male intake.

That gap has however narrowed slightly in the last year.

Overall, more young people are going into college or university for higher education.

However at 44% it remains below the peak of 50% at the turn of the millennium.

The proportion of higher education students from disadvantaged backgrounds remains low but is on an upward trend.

Most of them are recruited by further education colleges for courses such as Higher National Certificates.

Young people from East Ayrshire, Falkirk and Stirling are least likely to become students, while those in East Renfrewshire and East Dumbartonshire are most likely.

Scottish Funding Council chief executive Mark Batho said: "The improving trends shown in this report are welcome, but there is still more to do."

Learning and Skills Minister Alasdair Allan added: "These figures show both an increase in the overall number of young Scots participating in higher education and a rise in the number of entrants from the most deprived areas.

"Life chances are being improved across Scotland and these figures underline the importance of our decision to rule out tuition fees, ensuring access to education continues to be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay."

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