University applications still rising

02 Nov 2009

The first set of university application figures for 2010 entry from UCAS suggest that this year's squeeze on university places is likely to be repeated next year.

Although these are very early figures (covering only applications to Medicine, Dentistry and Oxford & Cambridge, all of which have an early deadline) they are an indicator of demand in the rest of the system. An 11.6% rise compared to the same point in 2009 is quite a jump.

The 16% increase in overseas applications is very encouraging for British higher education, although it does suggest a further squeeze on the places available for the less lucrative UK and EC students.

With the government's new HE Framework imminent - and the review of student finance - this is a critical time for university expansion. 

It also shows the urgency of the need for the political parties to say soon what they intend to do about student tuition fees, and future funding methods, rather than waiting for the review to report after the election.

On Wednesday I will be chairing a conference on university admissions and I am sure there will be much talk about how to respond to this rising trend in applications. For more details of the conference see: http://www.neilstewartassociates.com/jb273/ 

Looking further ahead, I will be chairing a Universities UK debate on future funding methods on 11th December. For more details see: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Events/Pages/default.aspx

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