Drop in university applications fuelled by decline in EU students and nurses
Fewer EU students wanting to study in the UK coupled with a sharp drop in demand for nursing coursex have driven a 5% decline in university applications, new figures have revealed.
Nursing applications plummeted by 23% and 7% fewer EU students applied after the Government allowed fees to rise for the first time since 2012 – the last time application numbers dropped.
According to the Royal College of Nursing the decline in numbers applying to do nursing was down to the controversial removal of bursaries.
Applications from UK students fell by 5%, with a 7% decline in Wales, a 6% decline in England and a 5% decline in Northern Ireland, according to the figures from admissions body Ucas.
But Scotland, which does not charge university fees, saw a drop of just 2%.
National Union of Students vice president Sorana Vieru said the fall in applications was "disappointing, but not a surprise".
"Uncertainty around increases in tuition fees, loss of maintenance grants and the rising costs of living and studying at university are too much of a risk to some potential students," she added.
However applications are up among 18-year-olds and continue to hit record levels with 37% of the age group looking to head to university.
Universities Minister Jo Johnson said: "More young people than ever are choosing to go to university, with record application rates for 18-year-olds this year as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds."