University Applications ‘Recovery’?

With the UCAS deadline a mere 11 days away, it would seem potential students have simply left it later than usual to apply.

Fears that the higher fees for 2012 entry had led to decreased demand for UK higher education by UK home students now appear unfounded.

Figures from Anglia Ruskin University claim that the level of applications for full-time undergraduate courses is now only 1.98% below the same point last year – representing a big recovery from the 12.5% dip reported in the autumn.

“Lies, damn lies and statistics”

Though critics point out that the dramatic statistics presented in the media this year were derived as a comparison of last year’s university applications figures, which were unusually high.

The fee change encouraged students in a position to apply to university last year to get on and apply.  Gap years were cancelled and indecisive potential students finally bit the bullet and joined in too.

This time last year, it was up 11.7% and today it is down 12.9% [as recorded in November 2011].  Could this be more of a re-adjustment and cancellation out of last year’s anomalies.

Moreover, as illustrated in the post Is University Still Worthwhile?, some universities have now decided not to charge the full £9,000 to incentivise prospective students to apply.

What do you think?

Were the figures misleading? Are students just applying later? Are UK universities really under threat from reduced demand from UK home prospective students?

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About Beth Cherryman

NQJ-qualified Journalist based in Berlin. Worked as a news reporter for numerous local papers in and around London, UK, and Dundee, Scotland, for the past four years. Published features also on BBC News Magazine. Previously studied at Cardiff School of Journalism and London School of Economics. View all posts by Beth Cherryman

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