The latest UCAS figures reveal that a record number of Scots were accepted to UK universities in 2017 and Scottish universities opened their doors to record numbers of new students.
While all other UK countries saw a decrease in the number of their residents accepted to university, Scotland bucks the trend with increasing numbers of Scots accepted to universities here.
Meanwhile, after years of positive growth, UCAS has cited Brexit as a possible cause for the 4.4% decline in EU applicants choosing to come and study in the UK.
The damage that this Brexit-fuelled reduction in EU students will do to both our economy and the world of academia is highlighted by the Universities UK research which found that EU students generated £414.1m for the Scottish economy in 2011-12, and in doing so created 3,743 jobs.
Commenting, SNP MSP Tom Arthur, Renfrewshire South, said: “It is fantastic that Scotland’s education system has supported 36,500 people to secure a place at university this year – that’s a 2.4% increase on last year.
“We are also bucking the trend with increasing numbers of Scots accepted to universities here, while all other UK nations have experienced a decline in local applications to university.
“And while it’s great that Scottish universities opened their doors to record numbers in 2017, it is concerning that the UK has become an increasingly less popular destination for EU students since the Brexit vote last year. This is bad news for our universities and for the wider Scottish economy, which is boosted by hundreds of millions of pounds generated by EU students each year.
“The Tories’ increasingly insular approach to the world and the endless uncertainty they have created for EU citizens living here in Renfrewshire South is damaging the UK’s reputation, our economy and future prosperity, and the SNP will do all in its power to protect EU citizens in Renfrewshire South and continue making Scotland an attractive place to work and study.”