Universities face fines for failing to widen access

Scotland’s Education Minister Mike Russell has said he wants to rapidly increase the proportion of pupils from deprived areas entering higher education, using “carrots and sticks”, without providing details, writes Simon Johnson for The Telegraph.

But a motion earmarked for debate at the Nationalists’ autumn conference calls for the introduction of statutory “widening access agreements” to force universities to recruit more such students. If they fail to make speedy enough progress, it urges Russell to consider “financial penalties”.

Last month he expressed his frustration at the pace at which access is being widened at Scottish universities and said it was necessary to “step it up”. St Andrews University, in particular, has faced criticism after the National Union of Students reported that only 13 students from the poorest backgrounds won admission last year.
Full report on The Telegraph site