University applications rise as candidates race to avoid higher fees
University candidates are racing to submit their applications ahead of the tripling of tuition fees from autumn 2012, figures released today show.
Applications received before Christmas rose by 2.5% compared with the same period the year before, to reach a record high – with 335,795 candidates chasing places for 2011 entry.
Competition will once again be intense. Thousands of young people denied a place last autumn have reapplied for courses, fuelling the surge in applications.
Figures for the months leading up to Christmas show that more candidates applied early this year. There was a 20% increase in applications submitted in November and a 5% increase in October.
This means an additional 8,000 candidates are chasing the same number of places as last year, according to figures released by the universities and colleges admission service, Ucas.
The figures give details of applicants' subject choices, indicating a decline in European languages, which dipped by 1.4%, and a 2% drop in demand for history and philosophy. Applications for medicine and dentistry rose by 3.5%, while the numbers applying for law rose by 2.9%.
The figures reveal a slight drop in the number of under-18s applying, from around 193,000 to just under 191,000. But more than 5,000 more 19-year-olds have applied than did so last year.
Applications from older students are also increasing, with 2,000 more applications from candidates aged 20 and nearly 900 more from 21-year-olds.
Ministers funded an extra 10,000 places for undergraduates starting at English universities last year amid a dramatic increase in applications, but fierce competition still saw one in three candidates missing out.
The government will continue to fund an extra 10,000 places this year, but this provision will be withdrawn by 2012...>> Read more
January 24, 2011, 12:10 pm