GuildHE responds to figures showing rising demand for higher education

The higher education representative body GuildHE has called on the Government to lift restrictions on recruiting more students, following the release of new figures showing a significant rise in the number of applications to study at an HE institution.

GuildHE universities, university colleges, and specialist HE institutions are growing in popularity faster than any others in the country, but many fear they will have to turn well qualified students away because the Government has cut the number of funded places for next year by 5,000.

The latest figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show an overall 8.8 per cent rise in UK applications compared with the same time last year. But some GuildHE institutions are reporting applications have grown by as much as 33 per cent.

Alice Hynes, GuildHE’s Chief Executive, said: “What a crazy time for the Government to put the squeeze on additional student numbers, when the country needs to improve the employment opportunities and life chances of its population and increase people’s ability to improve their own prospects and help re-build our ailing economy.

“Our institutions have been working hard to raise aspirations and achieve Government targets for widening participation into HE — and with some success, as these new figures demonstrate. To now close the door on prospective students is a waste of that effort and associated funding, as well as a wasted opportunity.”