The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) today released figures showing applications to higher education courses at UK higher and further education institutions at 15 January 2012.

Commenting on the figures, GuildHE chief executive Andy Westwood, said:

“Today’s application figures show the rate of applications is down by 7.4% on 2011 figures and just over 5% compared to 2010, which is not as dramatic a fall as earlier statistics suggested. Overall the rate of demand is still likely to far outweigh the places available and so unlikely to affect the number of students actually enrolling in higher education in September.  That said there are several areas of concern with significant drops in applications to certain subjects and from older age groups.

“It is difficult to assess the effect of the changes to fees and student finance but there are a number of inter-related factors: a demographic dip in the numbers of young people aged 17 and 18, a double recession effect with school leavers more likely to choose university because of fewer alternatives and those older and already in work less likely to give up work in an uncertain labour market. Older applicants already in jobs may now be looking more closely at part time applications to institutions offering more flexible courses."


For more information and comment:
Andy Westwood
Tel: 020 7387 7711

Notes to editors
1. GuildHE is a recognised higher education representative body. For a list of GuildHE institutions, please visit: 
2. The UCAS applicant figures for January can be found at  
3. The UCAS figures released today show only applications for full-time undergraduate study.  Part-time applicants are not included in the figures.
4. GuildHE is on Twitter @guildhe and @guildheceo. Further comment is available on the GuildHE Blog

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