A RECORD number of students from outside the European Union are set to study at Scottish universities next term.

According to UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), a total of 2,330 students from non-EU countries will take up studies in Scotland next month, an increase of 9% on last year.

Meanwhile, the number of EU students has fallen 5% (160 students) to 3,150.

The percentage of 18-year-olds in Scotland due to enter higher education this year has remained at 23.3%, but the number of admissions has fallen by 1,600 as a result of a drop in the number of 18-year-olds in the country’s population.

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As students received their exam results yesterday, a total of 28,750 had their place at university or college confirmed by UCAS.

Anyone still looking for a place on a course can now look for a place in Clearing on the UCAS website, with more than 30,000 courses available for Scottish students, of which more than 1,700 are at Scottish universities and colleges.

Clare Marchant, chief executive of UCAS, said: “Congratulations to everyone in Scotland receiving their exam results today.

“Almost 95% of students will have secured their first choice, and it’s really encouraging to see Scottish universities welcome students from around the world.

“Clearing gives students choices, putting them in the driving seat. Universities want to hear from keen, qualified students without a place, and those who have only recently started thinking about a course this September.

“If you’ve got a confirmed place, but now changed your mind and want to study another course, Clearing can also give you a new direction.”

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Shona Struthers, chief executive of Colleges Scotland, said: “All students across Scotland receiving their results today should be proud of their efforts and we congratulate them on their achievements.

“For those students who haven’t yet decided the next steps of their journey, colleges offer a variety of courses

that provide pathways to employment, and we would encourage them to contact their local college for information, advice and support.”

“Colleges look forward to welcoming all the new students enrolling on college courses.