Student body most privately educated in Scotland


According to entry figures for 2015-16, the University of St Andrews has significantly fewer state-educated pupils than any other institution of higher education in Scotland.

The figures show that Oxford (excluding small specialist colleges) has the lowest proportion of state educated pupils at 55.7 per cent of their 2015-16 intake, followed closely by St Andrews with 56.7 per cent.

This makes St Andrews the second most privately educated mainstream university in the UK.

The report furthermore shows that St Andrews lags remarkably behind any other Scottish university.

In comparison, the second most privately-educated institution in Scotland is the University of Edinburgh. The 2015-16 figures show an intake of 69.7 per cent state educated students, over 10 per cent higher than St Andrews.

 Lowest proportion of state school students (Scotland) 

 1. St Andrews: 56.7%

2. Edinburgh: 69.7%

3. Aberdeen: 79.8%

4. Glasgow: 84.6%

5. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: 87.8%

6. Glasgow School of Art: 88.8%

7. Heriot-Watt University: 90.3%

8. SRUC: 91%

9. Dundee: 91.5%

10. Strathclyde: 91.6%

The figures, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, are based on home and EU students in UK universities. These statistics, however, do not include the intake for autumn of 2016.

 Lowest proportion of state school students (UK) 

 1. Royal Academy of Music: 48.5%

2. Royal Agricultural University: 49.1%

3. Courtauld Institute of Art: 55.3%

4. Oxford: 55.7%

5. St Andrews: 56.7%

6. Royal College of Music: 56.9%

7. Durham: 60.5%

8. Bristol: 61.4%

9. Cambridge: 61.9%

10. Imperial: 65.5%

According to the Independent Schools Council, independent schools teach around 6.5 per cent pupils in the UK, but the proportion rises to about 18 per cent over the age of 16.

Data released by Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that overall, 89.9 per cent of UK young, full-time undergraduates starting courses at British universities in 2015-16 were educated in the state sector, up from 88.9 per cent five years ago.

There are, however, some differences across the UK.

Scottish universities on average take a lower proportion of state school pupils (87 per cent) whereas the figure in England is slightly higher at 89.8 per cent.

These figures come amid a continued push by government and institutions of higher education to widen participation, encouraging students from all backgrounds to study for a degree.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said the figures show that “there is more to do at some universities, where there are still too few students progressing from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.