Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

'Postcode lottery' flawed for access to university, The Sunday Times reported | 10 Nov 2019

A study conducted by Professor Lindsay Paterson, Lucy Hunter Blackburn and Dr Elisabet Weedon suggests that positive discrimination measures used in Scotland in an attempt to open up universities to more students from poorer backgrounds by reducing requirements based on postcodes are seriously flawed. The research findings were noted by John Boothman from the Sunday Times on the 10th November 2019.

The findings reflect that up to half of disadvantaged people do not live in the neighbourhoods identified in the official Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD20 areas), while roughly a quarter (26%) of households there have high incomes. The policies can mean that disadvantaged children in more affluent areas are not receiving the same help to get into higher education as their equivalents living in deprived neighbourhoods. The press coverage and the article can be accessed via the following links:

  • Paterson, L., Hunter Blackburn, L., & Weedon, E. (2019). Use of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation as an indicator to evaluate the impact of policy on widening access to higher education. Scottish Affairs, 28(4), pp.414–433. DOI: 10.3366/scot.2019.0296
  • The Sunday Times (by Joh Boothman, 10th November 2019). 'Postcode lottery' flawed for access to university.