The number of mature and overseas students applying to UK universities appears to be on the increase, according to figures released today, writes Alison Goddard.
The number of people over 25 who had applied for a place by January 15 was up 11 per cent compared with December 15 2000.
The number of people applying from outside the European Union was up 24 per cent - good news for universities that rely on international students' higher fees.
Overall numbers were up 3.9 per cent, with the highest growth in Scotland, where favourable financial support for students saw applications rise by 8.8 per cent.
Tony Higgins, chief executive of Ucas, said: "It is encouraging to see an increase in the number of students applying. But the introduction of the new advisory closing date and the harmonisation of the course coding system make it difficult at this stage to draw any hard and fast conclusions."