UCAS numbers on the increase

February 24, 1995

Applications for university entry in 1995 are up by 2.2 per cent on last year.

The figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show that by the closing date of December 15 1994, 347,321 people had applied for full-time and sandwich first degree courses.

Mike Scott, university liaison officer at UCAS, said: "The increase should not represent a huge problem for universities and colleges seeking to consolidate their student numbers."

But, he added, the year-on-year improvement in A-level results meant that it was increasingly hard for universities to keep numbers down by asking for high grades: "You can't go much higher than three As, yet more and more students are achieving such results."

The statistics reveal worrying trends for certain subjects. There is an increase of 28 per cent in those choosing to study languages with another humanities or arts subject. "The problem for modern language departments is that they are becoming adjuncts to other departments as fewer and fewer students are choosing to study a modern language in isolation."

The number of people admitted to study French, for example, has not increased since 1982/83, despite the concurrent massive expansion in higher education.

Media studies has again proved to be popular, with a 60 per cent increase in applicants over last year, bringing the number of applicants to just over 31,000.

Changes in the classification of engineering students make comparisons difficult, but the fall in the number of applicants has continued, with only 9,248 applying to do general engineering this year compared to 11,023 last year.

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