29/11/2012

10.5% Fall in University Applications from Scottish Applicants

Click on table to enlarge
UCAS, the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK, has just reported their latest application figures for courses starting in Autumn 2013. 

Up to mid-November there were were 145,000 applications, compared with 158,000 at the same point in 2011 and 182,000 in 2010. That works out at 13,000 fewer applications in the UK, which is a fall of 8% compared with the same point last year and these are apparently the lowest figures for at least six years.

Many commentators had anticipated a reduction in applications to Universities from students living in England because of the introduction of much higher Tuition Fees with many Universities charging the maximum of £9000 per year. While this is the case, this doesn't explain why the reduction in applications in Scotland, where the Scottish Government pays the student's tuition fees, is larger than in England.

Percentage Fall in Applications to UCAS #
Scotland  - 10.5%
UK           -  8.0%

Behind these statistics there are clearly many individual applicants in Scotland who are holding back from applying to University. This is a disturbing trend. It means that there are other factors, most probably economic which are putting off well qualified potential applicants from taking the next step to improve their qualifications. This trend is also likely to reduce the demand for places at our two Universities in the City and might lead to empty places and a loss of income to the Universities.

I think the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell MSP needs to tell us what he is proposing to do to help reverse this trend?

# Note the final figures for University applications will be known after the main deadline on 15 January 2013.