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University applications slumps 8.7% in UK

University applications slumps in UK: Hotcourses Abroad reports on recent figures published by UCAS on university applications in the UK

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The number of UK university applicants has dropped by 8.7% whilst applications from English students fell even more sharply, decreasing by 9.9 per cent from 426,208 applicants in 2011, UCAS has announced today.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service revealed that although applications are down from the UK and European countries, there has been a 13.7% increase in applicants from non-European countries. Hong Kong recorded the biggest rise in applicants (30%) followed by students from the Australasia region (22%).

School –leavers (18 and 19 year olds) have shown the smallest decrease, showing that the increase in tuition fees has not deter them from applying to university. However, whilst many UK students fear an increment of the debt burden that they will incur, many other UK students have opted to apply  for universities in Europe where tuition fees are less than a third.

That is the case of Dutch Universities such as Maastricht University, where the number of UK applicants seeking places this year is currently up by 152 per cent compared with the same time last year, rising from 101 to 255.

In terms of the most and least popular subjects, 2011 has seen overall applications for courses in a range of subjects including English, subjects related to medicine, engineerings,  law and the psychological sciences soar by 153 per cent. Subjects expected to see a sharp decline, are technology, architecture and non-European languages.

Additionally, the proportion of mature students (over 21) who applied was down by about 15%, as student loans are only available for first degrees.

Another finding of this report is the alternative forms of education that young students are currently applying for. Among those, ‘night school,’ online and distance learning degrees as well as 2-year courses have seen an increase of applications from school-leavers, who traditionally prefer to go to university for 4-year degrees. Another popular option was new corporate-sponsored degree aimed for fund undergraduate studies of those recruited after school.


Related articles:

To see the whole analysis of the UCAS report, click here.

Find out more about the latest UKCISA survey looking at international students’ satisfaction.

Learn more about studying in the UK and what it can do for you.

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Aspiring journalist and Cambridge University graduate, Londoner 'by adoption'. Tweeting for @hotcourses_Abrd