Surge in university applications - it's going to get tough
08 Feb 2010
The announcement that university applications are up by almost 23% on last year indicates a tough year ahead for admissions.
We already know that funding cuts will mean a reduction in funded student places, perhaps by around 6,000. So more applicants going for fewer places adds up to a difficult admissions round this summer, with more disappointed candidates.
I'm at the UCAS conference for teachers and advisers, where the news was announced. Mary Curnock Cook, head of UCAS, explained how this is going to build on the trend from last year fr more competitive entry.
The success rate for applicants to university had been at or around 78% for the past few years. But last year it fell to 75.3%.
In a measure of the tougher offers being made, the average offer this year has gone up by 7 UCAS tariff points to 280 points. This makes the average offer the equivalent of B,B,C at A Level.
The conference also heard that universities are increasingly requiring students to have extensive work experience - a trend that worries teachers who fear students may be distracted by long placements from their studies.