The number of 18-year-olds from the most deprived areas in Scotland being offered a place at university is at a record high, according to official statistics.
UCAS data shows that the figure is up by 32% since 2019 – the last year there were exams.
A total of 29,630 Scottish domiciled students have been offered a place at a Scottish university on SQA results day.
The figures indicate that the number of students accepting places to study nursing at Scottish providers also increased, up 17% to 2,940 compared to 2019.
Of EU domiciled acceptances to Scottish providers, there was a 77% decrease to 720.
Higher education minister Jamie Hepburn described the increase in the number of 18-year-olds from deprived areas going to university as “encouraging”.
“Congratulations to everyone receiving results today after what has been another extremely challenging year,” he said.
“These statistics are encouraging, particularly the fact we have a record number of 18-year-olds – the closest measure to school leavers – from the most deprived areas being offered a place at university.
“We want every young person in Scotland to have an equal chance of success, no matter their background or circumstances.
“The number of students accepting places to study nursing has also increased compared to 2019, demonstrating that Scotland continues to be a popular location to undertake medical education and training.”
Hepburn said that it was “bitterly disappointing” that there had been a sharp drop in the number of EU students coming to study in Scotland.
“EU students enrich our campuses, and make a vital contribution to our economy and society,” he said.
“It is bitterly disappointing to see another sharp drop in the number of EU students coming to study in Scotland – a direct result of Brexit.
“The SQA’s appeals process is now open for anyone who needs it. The clearing process is also now live and places are still available for those who want to study in Scotland.”