The number of
students applying for a place at university has dipped by 10%, following news
that fees will reach an annual figure of up to £9,000 from this September.
university admissions service, has revealed that university applications are
46,413 lower compared to the same period in 2011.
applications from the UK fell by 7.7%. However, the 10% fall in applications in
England was not matched by Wales and Scotland, which recorded decreases of 2.7%
and 2.2% respectively. In Northern Ireland applications were down by 4.4%.
The low rate for
Wales may be due to the fact that Welsh students have their university
education partly subsidised. In Scotland the situation is even more favourable;
students who have lived in the region for three years won’t have to pay
anything towards their fees.
students in England will, for the most part, have to fund their university
education through government-backed loans.
of the University and College Union Sally Hunt said that these “punitive
financial barriers” will only serve to discourage students in England from
applying to university:
come as little surprise that applications in England are hardest-hit as a result
of the government making it the most expensive country in the world in which to
gain a public degree education.
of older people being deterred from applying is particularly concerning. If we
want to compete with other leading economies and produce highly-skilled workers
we simply cannot afford to have a system that puts people off university.”
Universities fees for
September 2012 range from Staffordshire University’s starting figure of £1,000
(going up to £8,000) to the full £9,000 fee at other universities such as
Lancaster and Lincoln.
UCAS data also showed that students are looking to degree
courses that may increase their chances of getting graduate jobs. While
applications for engineering courses fell by 2%, and medicine and dentistry
were down by just 2.6%, arts and design courses fell by 16.4% and media and
film studies courses fell by 16.4%.