NEW research from EuroStat has revealed that Scotland has the best-educated population in Europe, in a blow to opposition parties. 

According to the body, which is the statistical office of the European Union but also compiles data for non-EU states, Scotland has been number one for the percentage of 25-61-year-olds educated up to degree level for every year between 2011 and 2019 (the last year for which data is available”.

The SNP’s Kaukab Stewart (below), who was a teacher before entering the Scottish Parliament, said the data shows the “startling improvement in education since the SNP came to office”.

Nicola Sturgeon's party have welcomed the education figures

She also said the figures “blow out of the water bogus claims made by opposition parties”, who often attack the Scottish Government on its education record.

While there are no separate figures for England, the tables show Scotland as compared to the UK as a whole, as well as Northern Ireland and Wales.

Starting in 2000, the percentage of 25-61-year-olds educated to degree level in Scotland was 30.1%, while the figure for the UK as a whole was 28.5%.

By 2007, when the SNP first came to power in Scotland, the figure was 36.1% compared to 32% for the UK overall.

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By 2019 Scotland’s percentage had risen steadily to 50.4%, and the UK’s overall stood at 44.7%.

Throughout the whole period, Scotland recorded the largest increase (20.3%) and the UK overall recorded a 16.2% increase. Meanwhile, Labour-governed Wales was up 14.6% and Northern Ireland had risen by 18.8%.

“We have an incredibly talented and well-educated workforce, which is hugely important for attracting inward investment,” Stewart said.

“Another success story under the SNP which exposes the dubiety of opposition claims. Our universities are continually ranked amongst the very best in the world and we have a reputation for innovation.

Nicola Sturgeon's party have welcomed the education figures

“We are at the cutting edge of industries of the future – Glasgow builds more satellites than anywhere outside of Houston – and our life sciences cluster is one of the biggest in Europe.

She went on: “All of this is underpinned by a continually improving performance of our tertiary education system under the SNP Scottish Government. While the opposition continue to talk down Scotland, the SNP will continue to support a highly-educated workforce ready to take its place on the world stage when we become an independent country.”

To see the full data tables, click here.