Further and Higher Education: Fair Access


About the Inquiry

The Committee undertook work on Fair Access as part of the ongoing work on Further and Higher Education. 

This page reflects the work the Committee has done on Fair Access.


Monitoring progress 

The Committee agreed in June 2018 to request annual progress reports from the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science on the progress of the fair access policy. The Committee also requested progress reports from the Commissioner for Fair Access and from Universities Scotland. The letter from the Convener to the Minister and the response from the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science are below..

May 2019 

The Committee agreed, following its work last year on widening access, to keep a watching brief on the policy including receiving annual updates. Attached below is a SPICe briefing and also a submission from Universities Scotland. The SPICe briefing has a summary of key points at the start and the US submission includes recommendations for further action. The action plan of the National Articulation Forum Action Plan is also noted below.

Evidence Session 16 May 2018

Universities Evidence Session

The Committee heard from Universities Scotland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Aberdeen University, the West of Scotland University and the Open University about the measures they are taking to widen access to their institutions.

The Committee received correspondence from Universities Scotland with follow up information regarding widening access from the meeting on the 16th May 2018. 

Ask the Minister session 7 March 2018

The Committee held an evidence session with the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science on 7 March 2018. The focus of the session was fair access, although the Committee asked questions on the breadth of the Ministers portfolio. The Committee wrote to the Minister in advance of the sesssion with a number of questions which followed up on the recommendations of the predecssor committee.

The Committee  received two submissions in advance of the session on the 7 March 2018.

The Committee wrote to the Minister seeking clarification on a number of points raised in the meeting. 

Evidence Session 21 February 2018

The Committee heard from the Commissioner for Fair Access.

The Committee received further evidence from Universities Scotland and Abertay University.

Visit to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 15 January 2018

The Committee visited the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on the 15 January 2018 to learn about its widening and fair access programmes. The Committee met with staff and students from a number of other Higher Education institutes based in Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

Evidence Session 25 January 2017

On 25 January 2017, the Committee heard evidence on the Commission for Widening Access from the Chair of the Commission Dame Ruth Silver, and members of the Commission, followed by the Commissioner for Fair Access Professor Sir Peter Scott.

Written Evidence


The Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science wrote to the Committee on the appointment of the Commissioner for Fair Access. 

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee (EHRiC) wrote to the Commissioner for Fair Access regarding EHRiC's inquiry in relation to the issue of equality for disabled people and British Sign Language (BSL) users when applying to, and studying at, Scottish universities. 

Following the evidence session on 25 January, Professor Petra Wend (Member of the Commission on Widening Access) supplied additional information on the aspects of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.