Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Riddell's remarks on widening access in FTWeekend (2-3.5.2015)

John McDermott quoted in his article "Nationalists' record belies radical reputation" published on 2nd/3rd May 2015 in Financial Times Weekend a remark by Professor Sheila Riddell on widening access and the research finding of Lucy Blackburn on student grants.

Professor Riddell pointed out that free tuition had had no discernible impact on the access to universities by poor Scots. She also noted that the number of further education colleges had dropped from 37 in 2011-12 to 20 in 2014-15.

The article also highlighted research by Lucy Hunter Blackburn, which indicated that the SNP's act of cutting its spending on student grants by 50% in real terms suggested that many poorer students became worse off under its system. Blackburn was also quoted by saying that "Scotland is the only part of the UK where borrowing is highest among students from poorer backgrounds".

The article can be viewed via the following link: