Scotland has led the world in a commitment to excellence in education for many centuries.
We are a nation where a first-class education is accessible to all. You may not know this, but Scotland was actually the first country in the world to provide universal education to both boys and girls, as far back as the 17th century. We have an education sector with a proud history and a future focused on innovation. We’re home to world-class facilities, high-quality teaching and world-leading research.
Every year, more than 50,000 students from 180 different countries come to Scotland to study, with Europeans making up a large part of this number. The good news for European students is that, after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019, Scotland will continue to provide free tuition to EU students who want to study at any one of our 19 excellent universities.
The policy means that any eligible non-UK EU citizens who come to Scotland for an undergraduate degree up to the academic year 2019-20 will benefit from free tuition for the entire duration of their course.
The Scottish Government’s commitment is intended to send a strong message that EU citizens continue to be welcome in Scotland to pursue their academic goals and reinforce Scotland’s commitment to maintaining close ties with Europe.
Today, Scottish universities are leading the way in areas such as life sciences, medical research, biotechnology, and environmental sciences. European students, as well as those from other parts of the world, form a core part of this innovation and are highly valued by both the universities and the communities they live in. They help make Scotland’s campuses diverse and exciting and allow all our students to experience a wide array of cultures and outlooks, enhancing their academic lives.
It’s not surprising that so many people choose to study in Scotland. We have more world-class universities per head than almost anywhere else in the world, with five of these institutions ranked amongst the top 200 in the world. According to the Office of National Statistics, Scotland is one of the most highly educated countries in Europe and more than 94% of international students agree that Scotland is “a good place to be” in terms of studying.
Now, we might be a little biased when it comes to talking about how great Scotland is – so don’t just take our word for it. Below you’ll find stories from real people who came to Scotland to study and now call it home. Find out why they chose Scotland, and why you should too.
Larissa Slaney is a life scientist and PhD student at Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh. She first came to Edinburgh on holiday when she was 23, and fell so in love with the country that she knew she just had to find a reason to come back.
“From the first moment I arrived here I always felt really welcome. I find the Scottish people really welcoming and extremely warm hearted. So yeah, they immediately made me feel at home, they have always called me their adopted Scot”.
Maria Gutierrez is now the VP of Engineering at Edinburgh-based FreeAgent. Originally from Barcelona, Maria first came to Scotland on a student exchange programme and just never left.
“Scotland helped me to thrive as a woman in coding and engineering – starting up and leading a successful Women Who Code group has provided me with the opportunity to support others on their journey”.