This year, Ucas have received 50,000 fewer university applications compared to this point last year, a decrease of 8.9%.
Additional figures revealed the following interesting statistics:
- Applications from 18-year olds were down 2.6%.
- Applications from 19-year-olds were down 12.2%.
- Applications from 25 to 29-year-olds were down 12.2%.
- Applications from 30 to 35-year olds were down 10.5%.
- Applications from people aged 40 and over were down 10.9%.
- Young people living in disadvantaged areas were three times less likely to apply than their richer peers.
- The number of male applicants dropped by 8.6% overall.
- The number of female applicants dropped by 7.1% overall.
Those who did decide to apply and managed to achieve the grades they needed will face fees of up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees – meaning they will finish university with debts in excess of £27,000, and that’s before even taking into account maintenance loans and interest.
Since the tuition fee hikes started a few years ago, the decline in university applicants has been gradual and as yet the universities themselves have not been concerned. However, some union officials are warning that should fees continue to rise, a further drop in applications – especially from mature students – could be damaging.
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