University applicant numbers hit near-record levels
Some 580,000 applicants applied to higher education courses in the UK by 15 January, the main deadline for university applications, far higher than at the same point last year, according to statistics published by the admissions body Ucas on 31 January.
With the number of 18-year-olds 1 per cent lower this year, it means application rates for young people across the UK are at, or near, their highest levels.
An unprecedented 35 per cent of 18-year-olds from England have submitted a Ucas application this year.
That is likely to hearten universities amid concerns that demographic changes would prevent them from filling the extra 30,000 places allocated to them in 2014-15 by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement. In 2015-16, the government plans to scrap student number controls completely.
Much of the growth in applications – an extra 7,000 applicants in 2012-13 – was from women.
It means about 87,000 more women applied to university than men, who are a third less likely to apply to higher education.
“There remains a stubborn gap between male and female applicants which, on current trends, could eclipse the gap between rich and poor within a decade,” said Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of Ucas.
“Young men are becoming a disadvantaged group in terms of going to university and this underperformance needs urgent focus across the education sector,” she added.
Read full article: The Business Insider