Record number of pupils secure university places

Credit: PA

Higher passes were down slightly this year but a record number of Scottish pupils have been given a university place on exam results day.

Scottish students passed a total of 152,701 Highers in 2016, with an attainment rate of 77.2% - down on the 156,000 passes in 2015 but still the second highest number on record.

It is the first year that all schools and colleges have offered the new Higher to candidates following last year's phased introduction.

Last year, the attainment rate for the new Higher was 79.2%.

Meanwhile, as of midnight, 28,300 Scottish applicants had been accepted to higher education so far this year, up 5% compared to results day in 2015.

Almost all - 27,400 - are going to Scottish universities and colleges.

Just over 140,000 students north of the border received their results today -down from 143,000 in 2015.

Figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) also showed the pass rate for the National 4 was 93.2%, with 114,635 passes, while pupils achieved 234,160 passes at National 5 level, resulting in a success rate of 79.4%

Advanced Higher passes rose to 19,443, with a pass rate of 81.7%.

There were also significant increases in the number of students taking and passing qualifications related to wider life and work skills, with attainment of National Certificates at SCQF level 6 - each of which attracts the same number of credit points as three Highers - up by 23% to 4,920.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: