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David Caldwell, Universities Scotland
"Most students are doing the courses they wanted to do"
 real 28k

Friday, 19 January, 2001, 10:35 GMT
More students despite exams fiasco
Student backs
Students have backed education in Scotland
Figures on university entrance suggest that last summer's exams fiasco did not stop young Scots getting into higher education.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) said that there was an increase on the previous year.

There has, however, been a sharp fall in the number of students applying from England.

Thousands of Scottish pupils were given incorrect, incomplete or late results in the summer, leading to fears that some would miss out on university places.

Glasgow University sign
University numbers are up by 4.5%
But Ucas figures show that across the UK nearly 340,000 people started university and college in the autumn.

That is the highest figure ever recorded and is up 1.5% on 1999.

In Scotland the increase was higher - up 4.5%.

The number of Scots staying in the country to study also improved - up nearly 10%.

Ucas said that the figures indicated that the exams fiasco did not prevent people in Scotland getting into higher education.

Umbrella body Universities Scotland said that is good news for the economy, but it is worried by a fall of nearly 15% in students coming north of the Border.

Healthy traffic

David Caldwell from the organisation said: "This year, most students are doing the courses they wanted to do and are getting a great deal of satisfaction from them."

He added: "I think to be honest we don't know precisely why fewer students from England are here this year.

"We still have a great many students coming to us from England, it is a quite healthy traffic and it will continue."

Factors suggested to explain the drop include university expansion in England meaning there are more places available.

Tighter budgets may also be forcing some undergraduates to stay closer to home.

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See also:

12 Dec 00 | Scotland
Exams body warns of more trouble
11 Dec 00 | Scotland
Legal bid over exam appeals
10 Dec 00 | Scotland
McLeish makes exams pledge
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