Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, published in Universities UK’s Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education 2015 report, revealed that in 2013-14 there were 995,740 entrants to UK universities, a 1.5 per cent drop since 2004-05. Part-time first degree entrants fell by 12.2 per cent over the 10-year period.
The decline in new students occurred as the total income of the higher education sector increased by 70 per cent over the decade, from £18 billion to £30.7 billion.
The number of staff employed at universities also increased by 14.3 per cent over this period to reach 395,780. More than two-thirds (67.9 per cent) of this increase is due to a rise in the number of academic staff, while more than a quarter (26.8 per cent) of the rise occurred between 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Meanwhile, the gap between the number of academic staff and professional staff at UK universities was at its smallest point for a decade in 2013-14.