Barriers to higher education entry – a Scottish rural perspective

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This paper explores some of the unique issues in accessing Higher Education (HE) faced by pupils living in some Scottish rural communities in Argyll & Bute, Highland, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands. Many of these communities are hard to reach and in some of the least deprived areas of Scotland. Despite this, some pupils come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. All pupils face large pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs in studying at HE. This paper presents views of barriers to HE entry drawing on interviews with S5 and S6 pupils and their educators living in these areas. All respondents believed that those in rural areas faced higher barriers than for their peers because of additional costs due to their location. The paper also highlights the need for better information about access to HE and improved communication about the transition between secondary schools and HE institutions for all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
JournalScottish Educational Review
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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