More graduates in Scotland are in employment or further study than anywhere else in the UK, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Authority revealed.
The statistics showed that 90.4 per cent of graduates from Scottish institutions found work or furthered their study and follow an earlier announcement that 87.2 per cent of school leavers are finding positive destinations in either work, training or education.
The publication coincided with the Education Secretary Michael Russell’s update to Parliament on 28 June on plans to increase the focus on employer needs through college regions as part of the post-16 education reform programme.
Russell’s statement also confirmed:
- ‘Unprecedented’ restructuring of college provision, led by colleges, to better serve students and employers
- Outcome agreements with college regions and universities will clearly define what Government buys for its money
- Improved public accountability with a single body in each college region receiving funding and responsible for delivery
- Key figures including Henry McLeish and Ian McKay to lead college regionalisation in Glasgow and Edinburgh
- An advisory forum on higher education will be set up
- The Committee of Scottish Chairs of Higher Education Institutions will lead work to develop a code of good governance, subject to agreement on membership
- Legislation will be introduced at an early opportunity
“We already have the highest level of graduates finding work or staying in education than in any other part of the UK,” said Russell, “and of course higher education remains free to Scottish domiciled students in Scotland. Meanwhile, Curriculum for Excellence and our commitment to developing young people’s skills and employability is helping the majority of our school leavers into positive destinations.
“But we want to do more which is why at the start of this Parliamentary session I announced significant reform plans for post-16 learning.
College regionalisation, to better align further education with local and national labour market needs, lay at the heart of these plans.
“College leaders have seized this opportunity and with our help are bringing about the changes we need at an impressive rate. I have invited a number of respected figures, such as Mr McKay and Mr McLeish in Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively, to lead regionalisation alongside the colleges.
“I’m also announcing the creation of an advisory forum on higher education, following Professor Von Prondzynski’s report into university governance and work to be led by the chairs to develop a code of good governance.
“Strong progress has been made and the Scottish Government will continue to support our universities, colleges and training providers to deliver for our school leavers and graduates to ensure our young people have the skills, experience and ambition to support Scotland’s economic growth.”