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NUS blame top-up fees for entry drop
Thursday, 05 June 2008
A leading student representative has blamed the introduction of top-up fees for a fall in undergraduate entrants during 2006-07.
Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) yesterday revealed the number of new full-time university students in the UK dropped from 385,625 to 369,305 last year.
National Union of Students president Gemma Tumelty said today the figures showed that participation rates had decreased "across the board" after top-up fees came in.
She added: "The government will want to pull the wool over our eyes by pointing to the miniscule percentage increase in entrants from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
"But if you look more closely at the actual figures, the number of poorer students entering higher education in England went down by 4,190."
The HESA report indicated the number of full-time entrants from lower socio-economic backgrounds in the UK fell from 213,740 to 208,905.
A collector and publisher of UK higher education statistics, the HESA was established in 1993.