Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume has welcomed an increase in the number of Scottish young people applying for a place at university but warned that more must be done to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from Higher Education.
Mr Hume was speaking after the publication of new figures which showed that the number of young Scots applying to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Scotland and the rest of the UK increased by 2% in 2014.
Commenting, Mr Hume said:
“We know that university applications from 18 year olds have been increasing in every part of the UK but this rise in the number of young Scots seeking to enter higher educations is to be welcomed.
“What we need to see now is further action to increase the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who can benefit from higher education. Despite the nationalist rhetoric, after 7 years of SNP government fewer young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds are applying to university in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.
“Our universities have built a global reputation underpinned by quality research supported by funding shared across the UK. With senior academics raising questions over what independence would mean for Research Council funds and the EU Commission warning that the SNP could leave our higher education sector facing a £150 million funding gap, the best way to protect the things we share as part of the UK is to remain part of the UK.”