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This week

Worst record for widening access

Last year Scotland's universities had the worst record in the UK for widening access and students dropping out, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Just over 27 per cent of students going to university in Scotland were from the poorest backgrounds, below the UK average of just over 30 per cent. Universities Scotland argued that Scotland had made greater progress on widening access.

Code of conduct for trainees

A code of conduct for people training to become teachers has been launched by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. The Student Teacher Code is the first of its kind for students and is intended to give support and guidance to those about to enter the profession. The Code of Professionalism and Conduct has also been revised. GTCS chief executive Anthony Finn said: "We wish to encourage student teachers to consider themselves as professionals from the beginning of their course." www.gtcs.org.uk

Council pursues legal costs

Edinburgh City Council is to pursue Portobello Park Action Group for the costs incurred in its recent legal case. The group claimed the council had no right to build the new Portobello High in Portobello Park but its petition was dismissed by the Court of Session. Now the group intends to appeal. Phil Wheeler, convener of finance and resources at the council, said: "Enough is enough. The council has incurred significant legal expenses to date, in excess of pound;75,000."

14:19 Fund hits three-year mark

Inspiring Scotland is marking three years of success in supporting young Scots. The 14:19 Fund has invested over pound;19 million to guide people away from unemployment. Among the beneficiaries were charities focused on getting young people into a job, education or training, who received pound;6.1 million. Some 5,242 young people were supported.

New centre for Syrian studies

The University of St Andrews is to expand the work of its Centre for Syrian Studies to foster a better understanding of Syria and carry out independent research to help drive much-needed reform in the troubled country. Supported by a donation from the Asfari Foundation, the St Andrews centre will act as a hub for academic interaction, research and education on contemporary Syria.

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