Growth in applications to UK universities slows

The most selective institutions fare best as student number controls lifted

July 9, 2015
Snail

The growth in applications to UK universities has slowed, ahead of the lifting of student number controls in England this autumn.

Data released by Ucas show that 673,040 people applied to study full-time undergraduate courses at UK higher education institutions by 30 June, the final cut-off point for the main application route.

For the first time in 2015, a large number of Scottish teacher training courses were included in the main scheme. The total excluding this cohort is 668,460, which represents a 1.5 per cent increase on 2014, when 658,880 students applied. This means that growth has slowed, since the 2014 figure was up by 3.7 per cent on the previous year.

Looking at England alone, where universities may now recruit as many students as they like, growth slowed from 4 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

Mary Curnock Cook, Ucas’ chief executive, tweeted that lifting the cap “doesn’t produce more human beings with the potential to succeed”.

This year’s UK-wide figures include a 7.2 per cent increase in the number of non-UK European Union students applying to universities via Ucas. This tally rose to 48,610 from 45,380 in 2014.

However, the number of non-EU students applying to UK universities via Ucas grew by only 2 per cent, from 69,060 to 70,470. Last year this cohort of applicants increased by 6.3 per cent.

The data also indicate that the most selective universities are becoming increasingly attractive to applicants, while institutions with lower entry standards are faring less well.

Higher tariff institutions attracted a total of 980,610 applications in 2015, up by 4 per cent on 2014’s figure of 942,500.

In contrast, applications to lower-tariff providers were down by 1 per cent, from 995,890 to 986,390.

Medium tariff universities enjoyed growth of 2.6 per cent, up from 881,739 to 904,510.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN
Lecturer in English Language UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest