EU Applications Fall 9% Year-on-year

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The number of EU students applying for courses with an early October deadline have fallen 9% to 6,240, ending an upward trend seen in recent years.

The deadline for medicine, dentistry, veterinary science as well as for all courses at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford passed on October 15.

The total number of applicants to these courses rose 1% year-on-year to 57,190. In particular those applying from the UK increased 3% to 39,440 during this cycle and there was strong demand from 18 year olds in England (+8%) and Wales (+7%), with almost 2,000 more people submitting applications despite the young population falling this year by around 2%.

Despite the increase in applications for UK domiciled students, there was a strong contraction in those applying from EU countries and the figures seem to follow warnings that European student numbers could fall following Brexit.

Applications from EU students for these competitive courses were down 9% to 6,240 and ended a recent trend for annual increases.

In the previous 2016 cycle the number of EU application numbers had increased 8%, therefore this latest decline represents a significant reversal in the trend. Perhaps surprisingly the number of applicants from outside the EU increased by a similar amount to last year, rising 1% to 11,510.

According to Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive: "This is an encouraging increase in applicants to the October deadline courses, particularly given the 2% decrease in the 18 year old population.

"We will be watching the numbers of EU applications in the run up to the January deadline, especially now that the Government has confirmed arrangements for continuing access to student loans for 2017 courses."