Big Drop in Applications to UK Universities
Written in News & Updates on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 00:00

Though it is still early days – the UCAS application deadline is 15 January – there are early indications that the fee hike in English universities is having a negative impact on university application levels, not just in England but across the UK. Fees this year, for English universities are up to £9000 pa.

UCAS figures reveal that applications to UK universities, by UK students, are down nearly 12%. Interestingly, applications by Scottish students to English universities are down over 15 %, whereas Scottish applications to Scottish universities are down by only 10%. Currently, fees in Scottish universities are only £1735, for all EU students [excluding English students].

The good news for English universities is that non-EU applications are up by nearly 9%. However, and significantly, non-EU applications to Scottish universities are up by over 18%. Welsh universities are seeing an alarming drop in applications from the Celtic fringe [down 25% from Northern Ireland and down nearly 48% from Scotland] and from Continental Europe [down over 25%].

The role of UK universities as a pressure valve for students from the Republic of Ireland, seems under threat, with applications from the Republic dropping a huge 22.5%. This reflects anecdotal evidence from students and counsellors in Ireland suggesting that students there are increasingly looking at other alternatives to studying in the UK, particularly universities in Europe.