UWS is the most successful university in Scotland in ensuring that more people from disadvantaged backgrounds can access higher education, research has revealed.
A new Scottish Funding Council (SFC) report on widening access has shown that UWS has – for the seventh consecutive year – recruited the highest proportion of SIMD 20 students, as well as accounting for the highest proportion of those successfully achieving their qualification*.
The study has also found that 25 per cent of all SIMD 20 graduates in Scotland were from UWS in academic year 2019/20, demonstrating the University’s continued commitment to contributing to the Scottish Government’s widening access priorities.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “UWS is a place where ability not background matters and we are incredibly proud that this SFC report has revealed that the University continues to be the sector leader in ensuring that more people from disadvantaged backgrounds can successfully access Higher Education.
“As a result of our efforts to widen access to higher education, reduce inequality and close the attainment gap, we are delivering on our purpose to change lives and transform communities through outstanding, distinctive and progressive higher education. Embedded within our Strategy 2025 is a clear commitment to the support, retention, and successful outcomes of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, but with this comes the responsibility of ensuring our students have the best possible experience and support.”
The SFC report also highlighted that consistent with UWS’s recruitment success, the University also accounts for the largest proportion of SIMD 20 undergraduate qualifiers in the sector, across the seven-year period.
A huge amount of work has been delivered in recent years to continue to improve the student experience, deliver flexible learning models that meet the needs of our diverse range of students and increase student support – all of which is now paying real dividends for our students and their successful outcomes. These latest statistics are a real cause for celebration and are testament to the vision and hard work by staff right across the University in ensuring the very best outcomes for our amazing students.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS
In the recent 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, UWS was also ranked as Scotland’s leading university for reducing inequalities.
*25% of Scottish-domiciled MD20 full-time first degree qualifiers at Scottish Higher Education Institutions in 2019-20 qualified at UWS.