UCL Professor Peter Scott is Scotland’s new fair access commissioner

Written by Tom Freeman on 16 December 2016 in News

Renowned educationalist appointed to lead attempts to widen access to universities in Scotland

Professor Peter Scott appointed - Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has appointed UCL educationalist and former Times Higher Education Supplement editor Professor Peter Scott as its new commissioner on fair access to university.

He will lead attempts to make sure young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds have access to a university education.

Scott, a widely published professor of higher education studies at University College London, will take responsibility for overseeing implementation of the recommendations from Dame Silver’s report on widening access.


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His appointment also fulfils one of the report’s recommendations.

Scott was knighted in 2007 for services to education, and spent 16 years as editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement.

He described his appointment as “a great honour, and challenge”.

“The greatest challenge facing all Higher Education systems in the world is how to remove barriers to fair access, and reduce the glaring inequalities in participation between haves and have-nots,” he said.

“These inequalities undermine our efforts to build a high-skill economy and, more fundamentally, deny individuals the opportunities that should be available to all citizens in a democracy.

“I look forward very much to working with universities, colleges and schools as well as the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Government to address these challenges.”

Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville described Scott’s credentials for the post as “impeccable”.

She blogged: “It’s clear from my early discussions with Prof Scott that he has a passion for widening access to higher education.

“It’s a passion that I share.  A child born in our poorest communities should, by the time they leave school, have the same chance of going to university as a child born in our wealthiest communities. That is what the Scottish Government is determined to achieve.”

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