UCAS maps student movement across the UK

UCAS infographic UK country flows 2014-15

by Helen Thorne, Director of Policy and Research, UCAS. Continuing our guest blog series featuring Informed Scotland subscribers writing on the theme Making connections across the learning & skills landscape.

Almost 1,500 more students started degree courses at Scottish universities this autumn compared to last, as the country continues to attract well qualified students from across Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally.

UCAS’s interim report on acceptances to full-time undergraduate courses for entry in the 2014/15 academic year shows total recruitment to Scottish universities rising by 4% to 42,000 compared to the 2013/14 entry year. In particular the recruitment of international students increased by 7%.

Within that total the number of Scottish students accepted is up by 2% to 28,500 – the highest level recorded at this point in the admissions cycle.

Our analysis also shows over 4,600 English students chose to study in Scotland, up 11% on last year, plus more than 4,300 from the EU (up 5%) and 3,300 from outside the EU (up 7%), building on a trend of recent increases.

For the first time UCAS has produced an infographic map showing where UK students have chosen to study in different parts of the country. Around 30,000 UK students (about 7% of the total) have chosen to study in a different UK country to the one they live in this year.

While the long-term trend remains for Scots to continue their education in Scotland, nevertheless over 1,500 (5%) began courses in England this year. In contrast, 4,600 (just over 1%) of English students started their studies at Scottish universities. Scottish universities also attracted just under 1,000 students from Northern Ireland.

Elsewhere, some 10,600 students are going to study in Wales with 8,000 travelling the other way across the border.

Amid so many positive indicators, the fact that this year our Daily Clearing Analysis showed that over 55,000 more women than men have been accepted into UK higher education so far should continue to give everyone in the education sector pause for thought. This is a gap that continues to grow across the four countries, with a persistent difference of around 5,000 in Scotland.

With around 98% of acceptances included in these figures, the picture is very close to what we’ll see at the end of the year. The final position will be described in our End of Cycle Report published in December with growth for Scottish universities likely to look healthy, as total UK acceptances to full-time higher education moves towards half a million for the first time.

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For the latest UCAS analytical releases follow @ucas_analysis on Twitter.

Read our previous guest blogs: Prof Laurie O’Donnell’s Digital creativity and computing in the classroom, SQA’s So what is open education? and UKCES makes connections between disparate ideas.

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