Drop in university applications fuelled by decline in EU students and nurses

Posted On: 
2nd February 2017

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.

University applications from UK students fell by 5%, but rose among 18-year-olds
Credit: 
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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.

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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."