SCOTLAND: Call for radical rise in university enrolment

Participation in higher education should be radically expanded by the Scottish Government to allow up to 66% of school-leavers to go to university or college by 2028, according to the new convener of the vice-chancellors body Universities Scotland, Professor Anton Muscatelli. Currently, 47% of young Scots pursue further studies after leaving school, but the proportion has been dropping since 2000, when it reached a peak of 51%, reports The Herald.

Muscatelli said: "Traditionally, Scotland has done well in terms of school-leaver participation in higher education, but we have become complacent at a time when our economy will need more graduates. The Scottish Government should be increasing publicly-funded places at graduate and postgraduate level to address this potential skills gap, but this is not happening."

But his target of increasing participation to 70% in 20 years was criticised for being impractical, expensive and unnecessary. Scotland lies 10th in a list of participation in higher education in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries behind the USA, Australia, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. Last year, a Scottish Enterprise-backed report found that the country will need 198,000 additional postgraduates and 138,000 extra graduates by 2017 to fuel a predicted 18% expansion in professional jobs.
Full report on The Herald site