SNP MSP for Falkirk West Michael Matheson has welcomed new figures which show that there has been a 50 per cent increase in Higher Education applications from 18 year olds in the most deprived areas of Scotland since 2006.

Research by UCAS shows that the largest proportional increase in people applying to universities since 2006 has been from Scotland’s most deprived areas, where application rates increased by 50 per cent over the period to 15.1 per cent.

Mr Matheson said:
“The Scottish Government has been very clear that they want every child, whatever their background, to have an equal chance of benefiting from higher education.

“Shortly after entering Government in 2007 I voted with my SNP colleagues to abolish university tuition fees in Scotland and restore the principle of free education back to Scotland. I am pleased statistics show 18 year olds from the poorest backgrounds now have the financial confidence to apply for university.

“There is always more work to do, and I want to see more and more pupils from Denny High, Falkirk High, Graeme High, St Mungo’s High and Larbert High apply for higher education. It is therefore good news that the Commission on Widening Access has already begun its work to advise Ministers on how our ambitions can be fully met and allow us to eliminate inequality in access to Higher Education.”