Leeds Met fees net high interest

April 28, 2006

Applications to the university with the lowest fees in the UK have grown by more than 12 per cent, against a national decline of 3.2 per cent.

Leeds Metropolitan University is processing ,125 applications this year compared with 24,095 this time last year, a rise of 12.6 per cent.

Statistics published today by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show the number of students who have applied to universities for entry in September. They are the first intake to pay fees of up to £3,000.

Leeds Metropolitan is charging tuition fees of £2,000, while all but three other universities are asking for £3,000.

The National Union of Students believes the rise in the number of applications to the institution is a sign that school-leavers are put off applying to universities where fees are £3,000.

Thames Valley, Greenwich and Northampton universities are also charging fees of less than £3,000 - £2,700 at Thames Valley and £2,500 each at the other two.

But Thames Valley and Greenwich have registered drops in applications to their degrees next year of 11.9 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively.

Northampton's applications rose by 0.3 per cent.

The figures show that nationally the number of applications has fallen by 3.2 per cent on this time last year. The statistics have been updated since they were last published in February.

Steve Denton, pro vice-chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan, attributed the rise in numbers applying to his institution to fees and other factors.

He said: "The fee has got to have played a part, but I don't think it is the only reason. We have spent a lot of time reviewing our courses and improving our estate and infrastructure.

"If you take the applications so far, it would appear that school-leavers are put off applying to universities where fees are £3,000. I don't think that by and large students will be thinking, 'what's the cheapest?' - they will be looking at best value for money."

Bolton University registered a 45 per cent rise in applications to its degree courses, the highest of all institutions. In second place was the School of Oriental and African Studies, with a 15.9 per cent rise.

Leeds Metropolitan was third, while applications to Leeds University fell by 10 per cent.

A Leeds University spokeswoman said this was because it had raised its entry requirements.

Nottingham Trent has seen applications slide by the greatest rate, 18.4 per cent. Reading and Lincoln universities have seen slumps of 17.4 and 17.5 per cent respectively.

The drop in applications for next year may be partly down to more students applying last year in a record rush to beat fees.

While the number of applications for many vocational subjects were up, others, such as engineering and law, reported a fall.


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