From education to employment

Fair Access to Higher Education: Progress and Challenges

Sir Professor Peter Scott, Commissioner for Fair Access in Scotland

@CommFairAccess Annual Report 2020 

Shona Struthers 100x100Commenting on the Commissioner for Fair Access’s Fair Access to Higher Education: Progress and Challenges Annual Report 2020, Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:

“The Commissioner’s report provides a helpful summary of the significant work undertaken and achievements to date, and we are pleased to see that the target of ensuring 16 percent of full-time first-degree entrants are from SIMD20 areas by 2021 has almost been reached ahead of schedule.  Colleges play a key role in providing opportunities for people of all ages – regardless of background or circumstances – to learn new skills, retrain, gain qualifications and progress towards their chosen career. 

“There are, however, still too many students not being given the credit for qualifications already achieved, which is a point Sir Peter Scott’s report emphatically makes, so we will continue to work with the Scottish Government and universities to ensure that college students across Scotland are given due recognition for prior learning and can progress on to university, if they wish, without any unnecessary repetition. 

“Colleges are working well with universities to provide a wide range of pathways for students to progress into university courses but, as the report states, for the flexible pathways to work more effectively, enhanced collaboration across the tertiary sector is required. 

“We agree with the Commissioner’s view that, regrettably, Covid-19 is likely to have a significant adverse effect as – in line with previous recessions – the most disadvantaged are usually the hardest impacted, and, therefore, widening access will be even more critical over the next few years. 

“Colleges are preparing for a blended approach from next academic year of on campus and online learning and will continue to provide opportunities for those most in need.”

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