28,970 students from Scotland have been accepted into university or college through UCAS today, up 220 on Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results day last year, and despite a fall in the overall number of 18 year olds in the population.
Posted Tue 4 August 2020 - 09:30

Of those accepted, 28,240 will be studying in Scotland – an increase from 27,880 in 2019.

Students across Scotland are getting their qualification results this morning, with many seeing their place at university confirmed by UCAS. For those without a place or not holding an offer but still keen to start an undergraduate course, UCAS’ new personalised Clearing Plus service is helping match them to the right course.

Currently, 23.9% per cent of all 18 year olds in Scotland are due to enter higher education this year (12,700 students), up 0.6 percentage points, and a new record for SQA results day.

The number of 18 year olds from Scotland’s most deprived areas with a confirmed place has risen to a new high of 1,300 – meaning 11.9% of all young people belonging to this group have been accepted into university or college, and the gap to students from the least deprived areas has narrowed to its lowest ever point (a ratio of 3.29). The number of students (of all ages) accepted from the most deprived areas has also reached a new high of 4,360, with the gap to those accepted from the least deprived areas also reducing to the smallest ever ratio of 1.89.

The number of Scottish students accepted on nursing courses in Scotland has increased by 11.6%, to reach a record 3,040.

The number of students accepted into Scottish universities from outside the EU has increased to a record 2,360, while the number of EU students accepted has fallen by 15% to 2,670 – although more students from the EU are still holding an offer that is yet to be confirmed than last year.

Acceptance numbers will rise in the coming days and weeks as more students’ places are confirmed, particularly those studying qualifications where results are not published today.  

All of today’s statistics can be found in our interactive dashboard, allowing users to visualise and tailor the reporting to their own specification.

Applicants can now sign in to Track to see if they have been accepted. Anyone can look for a place in Clearing on the UCAS website, with 28,000 courses available for Scottish students.

Last year, a record 1,950 people from Scotland were accepted through Clearing, with 575 of those applying after 30 June and submitting their application directly into Clearing (also a record).

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: ‘Congratulations to students across Scotland receiving their results today. The increase in people with a confirmed place, especially the record number from Scotland’s most deprived areas and those choosing to study nursing, should be particularly celebrated, with their achievements providing their passport into higher education.

‘Universities and colleges are ready to support students in making the transition into higher education during this, the most challenging of years, with appropriate plans in place to start teaching in earnest, and student safety their paramount consideration.

‘For anyone without a place, Clearing Plus is giving each student a personalised list of courses with vacancies, that they can easily send an expression of interest to. Every course with places available is also listed on ucas.com.’

UCAS advisers are ready to guide applicants through the Clearing process on Twitter and Facebook. Experts are also available on the phone – the number for applicants to call is 0371 468 0 468.

The Skills Development Scotland Exam Results Helpline offers free, independent careers advice for students whose results weren’t what they expected (whether higher or lower). Professional advisers are ready to take calls now, offering independent guidance about all options. Students can call the Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000.


UCAS Press Office

01242 545 469



Notes for editors

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK.

In Scotland, there is a substantial section of higher education that is not included in UCAS' figures. This is mostly full-time higher education provided in further education colleges, which represents around one third of young full-time undergraduate study in Scotland – this proportion varies by geography and background within Scotland. Accordingly, figures on applications and application rates in Scotland reflect only those applying for full-time undergraduate study through UCAS.

There has been a 1.3% decrease in the overall population of 18 year olds in Scotland in the 2020 cycle, compared to the 2019 cycle.

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