University application rate hits record high
- Published on Friday, 31 January 2014 09:24
- Written by Daniel Mason
UCAS figures out today show that overall applicant numbers are up by 4 per cent, to 580,000, only slightly below the record level of 2011 (583,350).
The application rate (which takes account of population changes) for English 18-year-olds has increased to the highest ever level (34.8 per cent).
The application rate for disadvantaged young people from England has also increased to the highest ever (20.7 per cent). This means that 18-year-olds living in the most disadvantaged areas of England are nearly twice as likely to apply than they were 10 years ago.
Commenting on the figures, business secretary Vince Cable said: "Going to university should be accessible to everyone with ability, not the ability to pay. Our reforms were tough but they were right and we are now seeing the fruits of our efforts.
"Eighteen year olds from poorer backgrounds are applying at a record rate and are now twice as likely to consider going to university than 10 years ago. It's also good to see an increase in the number of people applying for engineering and technology. These are key to ensuring our country stays ahead of the global competition.
"It's clear that young people understand that investing in a degree is an investment for their future. New students do not pay fees upfront, there is more financial support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and everyone will make lower loan repayments once they are in well paid jobs."
Universities and science minister David Willetts said: "We've got record application rates for 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Young people understand they do not have to pay up front to go to university. Our reforms are working."