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UCAS Reports Applications Down 5% for 2017

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Figures provided by UCAS show that the number of full-time undergraduate applications made by the 15 January deadline, have fallen by 5% for the 2017 academic year.

So far 564,190 people have applied to UK higher education courses for 2017 down 29,530 or 5% on the same time last year.

Those applying from the UK declined 5% to a total of 469,490, while EU applicant figures decreased by 7% to 42,070. The number of students applying from outside the EU remained flat, growing just 0.1% 52,630.

The largest declines were reported for older candidates from England and Wales. In England, the number of 19-year-old applicants fell 9%, 20 year olds by 9%, 21-24 by 15% and 25 and over by 23%.

Despite the number of 18 year old applicants remaining flat year-on-year, the total proportion who applied to university has risen to a record 37% after a 1% fall in the 18 year old population.

Commenting on the figures, UCAS Chief Executive Mary Curnock Cook said: "Despite the overall decrease, it is encouraging that the number of 18 year old applicants remains high, and that application rates for disadvantaged groups continue to rise.

"However, we are seeing large falls for older applicants, partly because of strong young recruitment in recent years depleting the pool of potential mature applicants, and probably also reflecting increased employment, the higher minimum wage, and more apprenticeship opportunities.

"It's clear that the tough recruitment environment for universities will continue through 2017, leading to unprecedented choice and opportunity for applicants. Although the January deadline has passed, it is not too late to apply and we would expect around another 100,000 people to apply to higher education through the remainder of this cycle."