Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed news that a record number of students from Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas have gained a place at university.

No fewer than 4150 of the 27,830 students from Scotland who got into a Scottish university this year come from the 20% most deprived areas, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) figures show. That’s an increase of 13% since last year and 20% since 2015.

Mr Matheson said: “I’d like to congratulate all of my young constituents who were successful in securing a place at university.

“These figures show the Scottish Government’s efforts to widen access to higher education, which are based on our belief that everyone with the natural talent to go to university should have the chance to do so, are bearing results.

“We will continue to work hard to give all of our young people, regardless of their background, the opportunity to succeed.”

The value of gaining a place at a Scottish university has been underlined by figures that show graduates north of the Border have brighter prospects than their counterparts across the rest of the UK.

More than 94 per cent of students who left a Scottish university with a first degree in 2012-13 are currently in work or further study, according to the Higher Educations Statistics Agency, and they earn an average of £27,500. Both figures are the highest in the UK.