Care leavers are to be promised undergraduate places at Scottish universities in the first initiative of its kind in the UK.
In a bid to drive up the numbers going into higher education, all 18 of Scotland’s higher education institutions committed to guaranteeing an offer for all care leavers who meet minimum entry requirements, with no upper age limit. Earlier this year the sector opted to lower those requirements for applications from care experienced people and those living in the most deprived 20 per cent of the country.
The scheme will be in place in time for the next admissions cycle, starting this autumn for people looking to start university in autumn next year.
The guarantee was announced at an event at Glasgow Caledonian University attended by staff from other institutions, a number of care experienced people and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said she “warmly welcome[d]” the initiative.
She added: “Education is by far the most effective means we have of improving the life chances of our young people. I am firmly committed to widening access to higher education and ensuring that all learners, regardless of their background, have an equal chance of entering university.
“It is important that every young person has access to the learning that will provide them with the skills and qualifications they need to meet their aspirations and succeed in life.”