UCAS chief executive urges those students who have not achieved what they were expecting to 'stay positive'

Almost 25,000 Scottish pupils are heading-off to college and university after receiving their Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exam results today – a three per cent increase on last year.

As of midnight, UCAS confirmed 24,800 will be pursuing their ambitions of taking-up higher education – an increase of 800 students on SQA results day in 2014.

Almost all of these students (24,000) will be attending an institution in Scotland.

A further 600 accepted applicants have come from older age groups, aged 20 and over, which is a seven per cent rise on last year.

While overall recruitment to universities and colleges in Scotland is up by one per cent, acceptances from the EU have decreased by ten per cent, UCAS confirmed.

SQA results day is an important day for Scottish education as it’s the day when a large majority of Scottish applicants are placed into college and university.

The news is even more significant as record numbers of students across the nation have passed their Higher exams, with figures showing a 5.5 per cent increase in the pass-rate compared with 2014.

University Scotland director, Alastair Sim, described how today is “a great day for Scottish education.”

He added: “We are delighted to see such high levels of achievement from pupils across Scotland in their Higher results and to see the number of Scots accepted into our universities increase again this year.

“Pupils, teachers, and parents can all take pride in this strong performance.”

Chief executive at UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook, also congratulated those who have secured a place at their chosen university or college in Scotland.

Urging those who have not achieved what they were expecting to “stay positive,” she added: “Remember that the best way to succeed is to prepare thoroughly before calling universities for a discussion about the courses you’re interested in.

“The UCAS website has lots of information to help you and, as you’ll be spending several years studying, be sure you opt for a course that really excites you.”

Applicants can log in to Track on the UCAS website today to see if they have been accepted or are eligible for Clearing – and they’ll be able to make a formal Clearing choice too, which is earlier than in previous years.

After checking their status in Track, eligible applicants can browse Clearing vacancies on the UCAS website. They’ll need to call universities and colleges beforehand to discuss courses that interest them, in search of a provisional offer.

All of the information students need is on the UCAS website and the social media team are also ready to help applicants through Twitter and Facebook.

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