The official numbers are out. And British Prime Minister David
Cameron might not be very happy about them: following the massive
jump in tuition fees the number of students
applying for English universities has decreased by 10%.
In October last year, preliminary data from UCAS, the British
university application system, indicated a negative impact of rising tuition
fees. Some institutes responded by lowering their fees again.
Recent numbers show that this trend continued until the
January 15 deadline.
13,7% increase among non-EU students
Among non-EU students English universities continue enjoying
great popularity as there were 13,7% more applicants from this
category. Citizens from other EU member states meanwhile seem to
shy away from studying in England as their number declined by
Officials downplayed the data with Nicola Dandridge from
Universities UK commenting that "the dip is far less dramatic than
many were initially predicting. And if we look at the number of
18-year-old applicants from the UK, this has dropped by only 3.6
per cent at a time when the overall 18-year-old population is in
Worries over university participation
Martin Lewis, head of the Independent Task Force on Student
Finance Information, raised concerns that this trend may affect
participation rates among students from a lower socio-economic
background. "There is no doubt that the new higher fees in England
will have put some students off. More difficult is assessing how
big a problem that is."
"The worst case scenario is that it is those from
non-traditional university backgrounds - wrongly panicked into
feeling they can't afford fees or scared of being saddled with huge
unmanageable debt," Lewis stated.