Widening access to Glasgow and beyond

Rachel Thomson

The Advanced Higher Hub achieved an outstanding overall pass rate of 99% in 2020 − with eight subjects achieving 100% pass rates.

Biology, Business Management, Chemistry, English, History, Mathematics, Modern Studies and Mathematics of Mechanics all achieved the maximum, with History accomplishing 100% for the sixth consecutive year.

This bridging programme gives pupils from Glasgow schools the opportunity to study Advanced Highers on GCU's campus, providing greater access to subjects required for high-demand undergraduate courses, such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. The year-long university immersion experience also equips young people with the life and learning skills that helps them to transition successfully to university and, crucially, retain their place once there.

The widening access initiative celebrated the seventh year of its partnership with Glasgow City Council (GCC) and The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) in 2020.


Rachel Thomson achieved three A grades to confirm a place at Cambridge University to study Economics. Rachel, who attended Govan High School, wouldn't have had the opportunity to study History, Mathematics and Chemistry at Advanced Higher were it not for the Hub, as the subjects were not offered at her school.

Like Rachel, many other Hubbers were able to attend their desired university. Somer Umeed from Springburn got into the University of Glasgow to study Physics with Astrophysics. Duy Nguyen and Leah Wilson from St Margaret Mary's Secondary School went on to study Mathematics and Physics at Strathclyde and Physics St Andrew's universities respectively, and Kerys Watson, from Bannerman High, is now studying Medicine at the University of Glasgow. Baraa Alhamdu, from St Mungo's Academy, who achieved an A grade in Chemistry, is studying Optometry right here at GCU.

Then there is Nathan Weir from Smithycroft, who is the first pupil at the Hub to study four Advanced Highers. He is now studying Theoretical Physics at the University of Glasgow.


GCU's Advanced Higher Hub also agreed a partnership with e-Sgoil in 2020, which will see the Hub offer national Advanced Higher study support in five subjects outside of Glasgow for the first time: Biology, Chemistry, English, Maths and Modern Studies.

E-Sgoil is an integral part of the education service in the Western Isles. From its base in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, it deploys registered teachers and current technology to deliver real-time, interactive lessons to pupils throughout Scotland.