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29/04/15 09:45

Commission on Widening Access

Full membership confirmed ahead of first meeting.

Key figures from education and business will join student leaders in developing plans to help more students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Scotland to enter and succeed in higher education

The full membership of the Widening Access Commission’s has been confirmed ahead of today’s first meeting in Glasgow, following last month’s announcement of Dame Ruth Silver as Chair. Members are as follows:

  • Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow
  • Liz McIntyre, Principal, Borders College
  • Ali Jarvis, Chair of SFC’s Access & Inclusion Committee
  • Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education, Glasgow City Council
  • Gerry Lyons, Headteacher, St Andrew’s Secondary School, Glasgow
  • Jean Carwood-Edwards, Chief Executive, Scottish Pre-School Play Association
  • Helen Martin, Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress
  • Russell Gunson, Director, NUS Scotland
  • Vonnie Sandlan, Women’s Officer & President elect, NUS Scotland
  • Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
  • Caroline Stuart, Oracle Ltd.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said:

“The Scottish Government has been very clear that we want every child, whatever their background, to have an equal chance of benefitting from higher education. We have come far and last week’s university outcome agreements have further underlined our commitment to wider access, but there remains much to be done.

“I am very pleased to welcome such a broad range of expertise to the Commission on Widening Access. I’m confident that we have the right mix of experience, knowledge and insight from across the education system, business and other interested parties to drive this work alongside Dame Ruth.

“I am particularly pleased that there are two student representatives on the Commission, as their perspective is crucial. Today’s first meeting marks the start of the process, and I look forward with interest to seeing the results of their work.”


Dame Ruth Silver added: “This magnificent ambition is now in the care of determined and expert colleagues who are both fit for and committed to this task. I am very confident that today’s meeting will reflect the eagerness and experience the Commissioner will bring to this work.”

Notes to editors

The Commission was announced by the First Minister in November as part of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, guaranteeing a move towards 20 per cent of university entrants coming from the most disadvantaged 20 per cent of society.