In this paper we relate participation in full-time Higher Education in Scotland to the geographic and social characteristics of the areas where people reside. National data on students at Higher Education institutions in all parts of the UK are used to calculate the rates, with areas of residence defined by their addresses at the times of applying to the institutions. Population data and the social characteristics of the areas were derived from the 1991 Census. The smallest geographic area considered was the Post-Code Sector, consisting of around 5000 households. Economic factors, social class, unemployment and housing tenure were strongly related to participation in the expected direction. However, different strengths of effect were found in different parts of the country. The analyses also suggest that cultural factors may be important, especially away from the major cities, and that aspects of accessibility to the institutions may also be of relevance in some areas.
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