BRIGHT pupils should be fast-tracked into a university degree to avoid duplication of study and extra cost, according to a new report.

The suggestion is one of seventeen recommendations in a review of the options available to pupils as they move through school.

Backed by the Scottish Government, the report says there is too much repetition between school and university which could be resolved if more pupils who study Advanced Highers in S6 went straight into the second year of a degree.

The review also suggests more pupils with Highers could skip the sixth year of school and start university a year earlier than their counterparts.

Read more: Warning over lack of access to Advanced Highers

Current estimates suggest just 125 school leavers move from S6 into year two of a degree course every year with the majority of those having two or three good Advanced Highers.

The review also called for more college students studying HND and HNC courses to enter university in either the second or third year of a degree.

The report said: "We will minimise unnecessary duplication. We will make maximum use of the flexibility of the four year degree to enable learners to move, where appropriate, from S5 to year one and, through greater recognition of Advanced Highers, from S6 to year two of a university degree programme."

However, the report warned that parents who took part in the review had expressed doubts over the move stating: "The parental voice in this review expressed concern about young people entering year two of an established degree course."

A spokesman for Universities Scotland, which represents principals, said institutions recognised the importance of having a range of "diverse" options for students.

Jodie Waite, vice president of student body NUS Scotland, called for the education system to be simplified.

She said: "Our universities have a key role to play in this by recognising the true value of an individual’s prior learning whether that’s at school, college, or somewhere else.

"Not just to remove duplication, but to improve access for those from poorer backgrounds, and ultimately sweep away elitism in our education system and wider society."

Under the recommendations, pupils will also be given online accounts to help them record achievements and plan a future career.

Read more: For the sake of all able pupils Advanced Higher must be available

Online learner accounts will be brought in for all pupils from 2019 with the aim of providing personalised support and linking their skills to better course choices.

John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, said: "Our school leavers now have a widening range of opportunities available - from industry-led technical professional options to long standing, well-established academic routes. But what is clear is there is no single route to success in life.

"Ensuring the right advice, support and guidance fits seamlessly around a pupil is vital. Schools, colleges, universities and employers must work together to help young people navigate what is, rightly, a wide and varied range of post-school opportunities."