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Fewer grads remaining in Scotland after courses finish

The number of graduates from Scottish universities employed in the country six months after finishing their course dropped 2.9 percentage points in 2010/11 compared to the previous academic year.

For those originally domiciled in Scotland, the fall was 1.7 percentage points, according to government figures released on 25 September.

But taking into account employment outside as well as inside Scotland, 88.5 per cent of graduates in 2010/11 moved into employment or further study six months after completing their course, an 0.7 percentage points increase over 2009/10.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Today’s figures confirm the value of our universities and a Scottish education, and we welcome an increase in graduates moving on to positive destinations, be it in Scotland, the rest of the UK or beyond.”

Scottish education secretary Michael Russell said in a statement: “The most recent statistics from the UK on graduate destinations showed that Scotland has the best outcomes for those leaving higher education with a qualification.”

The statistics also showed that 43.6 per cent of the permanently employed Scots who graduated from higher education institutions elsewhere in the UK were employed in Scotland—a drop of 5.1 percentage points.

Scotland offers free tuition to Scottish-domiciled students, as well as those from the EU, excluding students from the rest of the UK.

Earlier this month the Scottish government announced measures to prevent prospective students from the rest of the UK assuming dual nationality—by claiming to be an EU resident—“solely to benefit from free tuition”.

It said that to qualify as an EU resident anyone from the rest of the UK wishing to study in Scotland must be able to prove they had lived in another EU country for a minimum of three months.