This seminar will provide a timely opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss next steps for widening access to further and higher education in Scotland.
Delegates will examine The Scottish Government’s recent response to Jayne-Anne Gadhia’s Independent Review of Student Financial Support in Scotland, including raising the repayment threshold for student loans to £25,000 from April 2021 - a commitment which was reaffirmed in the Government’s recently published Programme for Scotland - and the way ahead for ensuring fair funding, clarity and parity for students.
They will also consider how to strengthen data sharing between relevant agencies, following publication of the Commissioner for Fair Access’ 2017 Annual Report, in which he warned that a lack of up-to-date figures can create difficulties in assessing progress.
The agenda also includes a discussion on priorities for the effective implementation of the Framework for Fair Access, ahead of its expected publication later this year.
Further sessions look at strengthening transitions into higher education, in light of the target of 16% of full-time first degree entrants to Scottish universities to be comprised of students from the most deprived backgrounds by 2021, as called for in The Scottish Government’s A Blueprint for Fairness: Final Report of the Commission on Widening Access.
Attendees will assess progression from Higher Nationals to Degrees, and other forms of flexible learner pathways, along with the work of the recently established National Articulation Forum in expanding full credit articulation to more students. Delegates will also consider the next steps for developing a consistent framework for summer schools and other bridging programmes, which assist students’ transition from secondary school to higher education.
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