The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) have published data for the 2012 higher education intake and the number of UK applicants has fallen. 30/01/2012
These stats include all applications for the 15 January 2012 equal-consideration deadline. UCAS consider all applications equally if they are submitted by this date.
‘There has been a headline drop of 7.4% in applicants with a slightly larger fall in England…the more detailed analysis of application rates for young people takes account of population changes. This shows a fall of just one percentage point in the application rate in England, with little change across the rest of the UK,’ said UCAS chief executive, Mary Curnock Cook.
Applicants from the EU have dropped (by 11.2%) but there has been an increase in applicants from outside the EU of 13.7%. Men have decreased more (-8.5%) than women (-6.7%) and applications from older ranges have decreased more than the school leaver cohort.
‘Our analysis shows that decreases in demand are slightly larger in more advantaged groups than in the disadvantaged groups. Widely expressed concerns about recent changes in HE funding arrangements having a disproportionate effect on more disadvantaged groups are not borne out by these data.
‘However, I remain concerned about the wide and increasing gap between the application rate of men compared to women.
‘Although applications are down for mature applicants, this is in the context of some very substantial increases in recent cycles. Applications from mature groups are also set against a backdrop of increasingly higher HE participation rates at their school leaving age.
‘The indications are that demand for HE will continue to outstrip the number of places available in 2012. Applications are already 50,000 ahead of the number of acceptances in 2011 and last year UCAS received over 100,000 further applications between January and the close of the cycle,’ added Mary.
Each year many more people apply to higher education institutions than take up places. This isn’t expected to change in the current cycle. There were over 200,000 unplaced applicants in the previous two cycles, with many of those rejecting all their offers or withdrawing voluntarily from the process.
Regarding the decrease in UK university applications, Liam Burns, NUS President said,
'At a time when jobs are in short supply and youth unemployment has increased dramtically, the full impact of the government's changes to higher education funding cannot be fully understood until we know which groups of students have applied and been accepted to particular types of university... It would be a disaster if anyone was to feel unable to go to university because of a lack of clarity about the financial support available to them.'
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