News at a glance

8th August 2014 at 01:00

Rising numbers for Scottish higher education

Some 30,350 applicants have been accepted into Scottish universities and colleges - up 5 per cent up from last year - according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas). Figures also show that a total of 24,480 Scottish applicants have won a place in UK higher education, a rise of 4 per cent, with the majority opting to attend Scottish institutions. Information on the clearing process for students who received their exam results this week is available at

Skills crisis ready to `bubble over', say businesses

Urgent action is required to stem a skills crisis in Scotland, according to research from the Prince's Trust Scotland and HSBC. More than two-thirds of Scottish businesses surveyed believed that a significant skills crisis would hit them within three years, and more than a third predicted that this would happen within 12 months. Nearly three-quarters feared that skills shortages would halt the UK's economic recovery and more than one in four believed that such shortages could cause their businesses to fold. Allan Watt, director of the Prince's Trust Scotland, urged firms to "upskill the workforce of the future" in order to "prevent the bubbling skills crisis from boiling over".

Colleges Scotland appoints new chief executive

The campaigning and policy organisation for the further education sector, Colleges Scotland, has appointed Shona Struthers as its new chief executive. Ms Struthers joined the organisation in November 2013 as director of policy and public affairs, after previously holding posts in education consultancy, chartered accountancy and finance and communications. She formally takes up her role on 18 August, having acted as interim chief executive since June.

Listen to looked-after children, government told

Fresh calls to give a greater voice to those leaving care were made this week in the wake of new laws aimed at improving the prospects of looked-after children. Who Cares? Scotland, the national charity supporting looked-after children and care-leavers, told the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee that there was a real need for an independent voice to represent young people's concerns. The committee also heard evidence from carers about the impact of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which was passed in February. Under the act, all young people leaving care born after April 1999 now have the right to stay in foster, kinship or residential care until they are 21 years old.

Blind pupils learn to live in the great outdoors

Some 20 blind or partially sighted teenagers from across Scotland learned vital life skills at a summer camp in the Borders this week. During the five-day camp at Broomlee Outdoor Centre in Peeblesshire, the 14- to 18-year-olds took part in confidence-building workshops and tried activities including cookery and using zip wires. The camp was organised by sight loss charity RNIB Scotland, which said the annual event - now in its third year - was helping more of the country's 2,000 children and young people with visual impairments to prepare to live independently as adults.

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