UK university applications fall over student finance fears


The number of UK-born university hopefuls applying to learning institutes across the nation has dipped because of fears regarding how hikes in tuition fees will affect their student finance, new figures have suggested.

Published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas), the report showed 133,357 people have made applications from within the UK so far this year – a marked drop from the 157,116 received at the same stage in 2010.

The dip comes as universities and politicians are worried that the decision to increase costs up to £9,000 a year will deter many young individuals from furthering their education as it would likely require them to take out a larger student loan in order to finance such a move.

Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of Ucas – which typically processes more than two million applications for full-time undergraduate courses every 12 months – said: “We expect some depression of demand due to a decline in the young population, but it is much too early to predict any effects from changes in fees.”

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, described the findings as worrying.