Devolution warning:

You have selected areas that have different education systems. Please be careful! Higher education and university admissions are measured differently in different places.

In England UCAS measures admission to both universities and at least some higher education courses in colleges. In Scotland UCAS only measures admissions to universities. In Scotland a higher percentage of higher education is provided in colleges than in England. It's even more complicated than that. Details change and data is poor.

This tweet is a good introduction to the complexity of comparing data across different nations. But it is only an introduction and things are even more complicated than that. You'll need to learn about Polar 3 quintiles, the difference between each nation's indices of multiple deprivation, and the difference between FE, FE in HE, Universities that start at 17 and Universities that start at 18. If someone tells you it's easy they're probably making a mistake.

The basic principle is simple. If you want make Scotland look amazing, compare higher education participation rates. If you want to make Scotland look bad, compare university admission rates. If you want the truth, you need to look further than this blog and probably further than any currently-published research. The "Access in Scotland" report is a good start but even that it is not the whole story.

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