The number of university applications for the coming year has dropped dramatically, according to official figures released today. 24/10/2011
UK universities have seen a 12% fall in interest since last year with over 7,000 fewer applications, reveals the statistics from the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).
Many trade union leaders have blamed the drop in interest on the government’s decision to treble tuition fees, which means that the next intake of students will be the first to pay £9,000 for each year of study.
‘The government’s fees policy has been a disaster from the start and it is clearly having a serious impact on the choices young people make. Now is the time for a rethink to avoid doing serious damage to universities and young people’s futures,’ said Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU).
‘People should study the right course for them, not just the cheapest one or none at all. These depressing figures take us back to the time when it was cost not ability, that determined your future,’ she added.
The figures also show that more women than men had been put off by the tuition fee rise, with 10.5% fewer applications from women compared with 7% fewer men.
Mature students are also less likely to take up a place at university next year, with 22% fewer applications from those aged 30 to 39.
However, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, warned that it was too early to read too much into the figures.
‘Historically, the application figures at the end of October have proven to be unreliable indicators of the final numbers. It may also be that students are taking longer to this year to consider options,’ she said.
If tuition fees are worrying you then take a look at our money section for help with budgeting, saving and managing debt.
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