England loses out on European students

Nieuws | de redactie
31 januari 2012 | English universities received 11,2 % fewer applications from EU students following a threefold hike in tuition fee for most institutes. An equivalent 10% decrease of English citizens raises worries over university participation while overseas applications grow significantly.

The official numbers are out. And British Prime Minister DavidCameron might not be very happy about them: following the massivejump in tuition fees the number of studentsapplying for English universities has decreased by 10%.

In October last year, preliminary data from UCAS, the Britishuniversity application system, indicated a negative impact of rising tuitionfees. Some institutes responded by lowering their fees again.Recent numbers show that this trend continued until theJanuary 15 deadline.

13,7% increase among non-EU students

Among non-EU students English universities continue enjoyinggreat popularity as there were 13,7% more applicants from thiscategory. Citizens from other EU member states meanwhile seem toshy away from studying in England as their number declined by11,2%.

Officials downplayed the data with Nicola Dandridge fromUniversities UK commenting that “the dip is far less dramatic thanmany were initially predicting. And if we look at the number of18-year-old applicants from the UK, this has dropped by only 3.6per cent at a time when the overall 18-year-old population is indecline.”

Worries over university participation

Martin Lewis, head of the Independent Task Force on StudentFinance Information, raised concerns that this trend may affectparticipation rates among students from a lower socio-economicbackground. “There is no doubt that the new higher fees in Englandwill have put some students off. More difficult is assessing howbig a problem that is.”

“The worst case scenario is that it is those fromnon-traditional university backgrounds – wrongly panicked intofeeling they can’t afford fees or scared of being saddled with hugeunmanageable debt,” Lewis stated.

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