Scottish universities are to receive millions of pounds in extra funding in a bid to cut their high drop-out rate.
Extra funding will be made available for universities
The most recent figures suggested 11.6% of students were failing to finish courses north of the border, compared to a UK average of 9.5%.
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has asked those with the highest drop-out rates to come up with action plans.
It is offering £10m, a rise of almost £6m, to help universities give more support to less well-off students.
Those from poorer backgrounds are said to be at greater risk of abandoning their courses.
The funding council has also confirmed that it is scrapping the financial penalty on universities which go over an agreed cap on student numbers in science, engineering and maths courses.
The University and College Union (UCU) said the funding increases should lead to the removal of the threat of redundancies at universities planning job cuts.
UCU Scotland president Alastair Hunter said: "The funding announced today is a real terms increase everywhere.
"We question the need for redundancies, particularly in view of the increase given to institutions that are threatening job cuts.
"There is certainly no need for compulsory redundancies."
Those universities include Dundee, which is planning to reduce the number of departments and cut jobs to address a £1.5m budget deficit, and Strathclyde, which plans to shed 250 jobs over the next three years.
The UCU said their total funding would rise by 8% and 5.7% respectively in the coming year.