Ucas figures for the 2012 university cycle have revealed the impact of the rise in tuition fees. There were almost 54,000 fewer students beginning courses this year than there were in 2011. Students accepting places at universities in England dropped by 6.6%
Ucas chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said: ‘The headline numbers in this report signal the challenging environment for recruitment in 2012 for some parts of UK higher education. However, the underlying findings are more subtle – for example, although demand for higher education has fallen in England, the actual entry rates for young people are close to trend.’
She also spoke of her concern that ‘women remain more likely to enter higher education than men’, with 257,000 women starting university this year, compared to 208,000 men. The chief executive described the trend as a ‘striking and worrying finding.’
Not all figures were in decline: acceptance rates in Wales went up by 5.3% and rates of entry for disadvantaged 18 year olds increased in the UK.
Today saw the launch of student finance day, offering support, advice and information for students applying to university. Supported by UCAS, the day hopes to supply applicants with a better understanding of the new financial structure of higher education. Students can find out about the cost of study before they apply to courses.
UCAS Chief Executive Mary Curnock Cook said: ‘UCAS is committed to ensuring that applicants have access to everything they need to make a fully informed choice about higher education. Access to comprehensive information about finance arrangements is really important.’
Student finance day is an initiative from MoneySavingExpert.com creator Martin Lewis. Lewis chairs the Independent Taskforce on Student Finance, which was created to help students understand the real cost of changes to university fees. They’ve created an app with all the information for students about loans, tuition fees and bursaries.
Their website provides a comprehensive need-to-know guide on the facts of applying to university with inflated tuition fees. There is also a device which helps applicants calculate how many years it will take them to become debt free post-university.