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- Education Professionals
University applications drop by 50,000 amid rising fees
University applications have plummeted by 50,000 as growing numbers of students are put off by annual tuition fees of up to £9,000.
Figures show that demand for degree courses across Britain is down by almost 9% in just 12 months. Students from England – who face paying the highest fees – are being hit hardest by the new student finance regime.
In total, demand from English students has dropped by 10% so far this year – almost five times the fall seen among those from Scotland, who receive free tuition.
The data – relating to applications lodged by late May – represent further evidence that students are being deterred from university by a near tripling in the cost of a course. It was also revealed that demand for arts-based courses, which traditionally lead to relatively poorly-paid jobs, is down quicker than those for other degree subjects.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said: “These latest figures highlight yet again the government’s recklessness in raising tuition fees to as much as £9,000 a year. It should come as little surprise that applications in England are hardest hit as a result of the government making it the most expensive country in the world in which to gain a public degree education.”
From this autumn, universities in England will charge up to £9,000-a-year in tuition fees – almost three times the current maximum.
Institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can charge the same amount, although devolved governments will provide generous subsidies for their own students. Scottish students receive free tuition while those from Wales have fees capped at current levels.