Page last updated at 01:19 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Cash plea after admissions rise

Scottish graduates
There has been a big rise in university applications from older people

A rise in the number of people applying to Scottish universities has prompted calls for more funding from the Scottish Government.

The University and College Union said ministers must provide extra cash to ensure institutions meet the challenges of increasing student numbers.

The call came after figures showed a 5.7% rise in applications to Scottish universities.

University admission service UCAS said 79,716 people applied by mid-January.

That figure compared with 75,431 at the same time last year.

For the UK as a whole, the increase was 7.5%.

Both Scotland and the rest of the UK saw big increases in applications from older people.

The Scottish Government must increase funding to institutions to meet the challenges of increasing student numbers
Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "Historically recessions have seen a rise in university applications and we need to ensure that people have access to the courses that they need.

"The rise in mature applications also puts greater pressure on our universities.

"Hence the Scottish Government must increase funding to institutions to meet the challenges of increasing student numbers and the extra support required for mature and untraditional students."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We are investing more than a 1bn a year in our universities.

"Despite Westminster imposing the tightest financial settlement since devolution, the Scottish Government is investing a higher proportion of its spending in Scotland's universities than the previous administration - up from 3.73% to 3.79%."

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