Location, location, location - it matters

23rd October 2009 at 01:00
The qualifications gap between the most and least educated areas in Britain is growing wider

The qualifications gap between the most and least educated areas in Britain is growing wider - and Glasgow is one of the starkest examples of the postcode lottery of educational achievement, according to the University and College Union.

The lecturers' union said its analysis of educational achievement by Westminster parliamentary constituency showed that, despite pound;100 million being spent in Scotland on widening university participation, the gap was still "huge".

Although three Scottish constituencies (Edinburgh South, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and Edinburgh North and Leith) appeared in the top 20 for the highest percentage of people with degrees, there was still a huge divide in the proportion of people with degrees between constituencies across Scotland and within Glasgow, said the UCU.

Its report, Location, Location, Location - the widening education gap in Britain and how where you live determines your chances, showed that 53 per cent in Glasgow North have a degree and only 7 per cent have no qualifications at all. However, in nearby Glasgow East, only 16 per cent have a degree and 29 per cent have no qualifications.

Mary Senior, UCU Scottish official, said: "Investment must be increased if Scotland is to reach the levels of population with degrees that will allow the knowledge economy to rise out of the ashes of the recession."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said it had restored the principle of free education by abolishing the graduate endowment fee and had just announced pound;30 million in additional measures to increase student income.

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