New figures show rise in university admissions

first_imgAdmissions from students across the UK and the EU for the 2013 cycle were 446,000, a nine per cent rise on the lower than average 2012 figure, dispelling concerns that a hike in tuition fees would reduce the number of students applying to UK universities.This year’s rise may have taken some universities by surprise. The University of York has been fined a total of £500,000 after accepting more students than permitted for courses starting this year.Oxford have yet to release their admissions figures for this year, which are expected in November, but considering that Cambridge received its highest number of applicants for five years, the outlook appears positive.Ed Eliot, a third-year historian, commented, “Given that Oxford is seen as such a prestigious university I’d imagine higher fees, although pretty ridiculous, wouldn’t put applicants off as much, especially when fees are high across the board.”The increase in applications occurred across the UK including in Scotland, where the government voted to scrap tuition fees in 2007. However, there was a continued fall in the number of Scottish students studying at universities in England and Wales; just 1,540 – fewer than six per cent – opted to study south of the border, arguably because coming south of the border means paying the £9,000 fees.Scottish student Will Hesselmann explained the situation north of the boarder, telling Cherwell, “With the tuition fee difference, that’s going to be a major factor in making a decision about which unis to apply to for any Scottish student. They’re faced with £9,000 a year extra, long (and often costly) travel, and a higher cost of living if they want to go to an institution south of the border, so it’s no surprise that the proportion of Scots is far lower than you might expect.”Despite such considerations, the rise in applications has been widely welcomed by universities following concerns that, despite government assurances, applicants from underprivileged backgrounds would be put off applying for fear of debt.last_img

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