Record grades in Scottish Highers

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The Independent Online
THOUSANDS of Scottish students will be celebrating academic success today as Higher Grade passes hit record levels.

Provisional results showed a slight rise in Higher pass rates, up to 69.6 per cent from 69 per cent last year. The proportion of A-grades, crucial for securing university places, was also slightly up, to 15.9 per cent. Pass rates for Standard Grade, the equivalent of the GCSE, also showed a slight rise, with 40.4 per cent of candidates gaining the top two grades.

For about 28,000 of those receiving results, today marks the start of the annual rush to fill university places. Most are expected to get the grades needed to secure a place but every year thousands enter the clearing system, which last year matched 4,000 Scottish students to unfilled places north of the border.

The Scottish clearing process will provide the first test of the impact of industrial action planned by the Association of University Teachers. Members are due to boycott admissions work on Monday and Tuesday as part of their campaign for a 10 per cent pay rise.

Another boycott is planned for 19 and 20 August, immediately after A- level results are published in the rest of Britain.

The Independent's unrivalled service for higher education entrants begins today with the inclusion in Scottish editions of a supplement listing vacancies in Scottish universities. An updated supplement will appear in this weekend's Independent on Sunday. From Monday a series of guides to higher education will appear in this paper in the run up to the publication of the first university vacancy lists for the whole country, which follow the release of A-level results on 19 August. These are the only official lists to be published and are supplied by Ucas.