There has been a significant fall in the number of university places taken up this year compared to the number last year.
Almost 54,000 fewer students began courses this year than did so in 2011 (that’s in the autumn intake), according to a recent UCAS report. A pretty darn big drop, in other words.
So why the drastic fall in numbers? Well according to the UCAS report, there were 6.6% less total applications made in 2012, then over 27,000 fewer acceptances. The jump from over 27,000 to nearly 54,000 has been explained by deferral patters (such as students deciding to take gap years and defer a year).
One more positive statistic to come out of the report concerns the record number of disadvantaged people that have gone into higher education this year.
UCAS Chief Executive Mary Curnock Cook commented on this, saying, “the continuing increase in participation from more disadvantaged groups is particularly encouraging, as is the absence of any signal that they are turning away from higher course fees.”
But the NUS aren’t convinced.
President Liam Burns says that the government should not take this one encouraging outcome as vindication of the changes they made.
“Applications are falling overall and students from wealthier areas are still much more likely to go to university than poorer ones,” he says. “The government have created chaos in higher education and one positive statistic is not evidence of a job well done.”
Planning to go to uni next year? Start searching for Archaeology degree courses now (that's an order).