Tag Archives: ucas

18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds in England 72% more likely to apply to university than they were in 2006

One of the worries many people had about the new system of university tuition fees was that it might put people off from deprived backgrounds from going to university. If you listened to the Labour Party or the Guardian at the end of 2010, you’d have thought that nobody from such a background would be able to ever go to university again.

The facts, though, tell a different story. UCAS figures this week show that an 18 year old from a poorer background is now 72% more likely to apply to go to university than they were in 2006. It’s still not where it needs to be, but it shows a steady improvement. The Guardian has the story:

The gap between the numbers of rich and poor students applying to university has narrowed, with disadvantaged teenagers more likely than ever before to want to enrol.

New figures, published by admissions service Ucas, show that the application rates of 18-year-olds living in poor areas in all four countries of the UK have increased to the highest levels recorded.

What’s striking is that the rates in England are higher than Scotland where tuition remains free. It shows that the SNP Government have much to do in terms of increasing accessibility. They have recently, at long last, improved student financial support, but this has yet to show dramatic improvement. 

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The good news on university applications in 5 graphs

While the attention of the world’s media was focused on an 8lb 6oz bundle of Royal joy, there was perhaps even more significant good news about young people that didn’t garner quite so much coverage: demand for higher education from young people is at or near record levels for each country of the UK in 2013. This was announced by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) yesterday, an analysis of patterns of demand from over 20 million applications for higher education from 2004 to 2013 — if ever there were a day to bury good news…

Here are five graphs which tell the story…

Demand for higher education from young people is at or near record levels for each country of the UK in 2013.

ucas figures - application figs 2013

Application rates for English 18 year olds have increased by one percentage point to 35 per cent in 2013. This increase is typical of the trend between 2006 and 2011 and takes the application rate back to the 2011 level, after its decrease in 2012. Application rates for 18 year olds in Northern Ireland have increased to 48 per cent, application rates in Scotland (32 per cent) and Wales (30 per cent) are similar to the 2012 cycle.

Application rates for young, disadvantaged groups have increased to new highs in England.

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LibLink: Simon Hughes MP – Students are not being put off university by tuition fees

Simon Hughes MP writes at Comment is Free, following the publication of the latest UCAS figures.

He acknowledges the top-line 8% decline in applications and the mass protest that followed the original decision, but points out that applications from students in deprived areas have barely declined at all:

…a more objective analysis of the data shows a clearer picture. Although applications were down by a significant number, the total number of 18-year-olds in England this year is significantly down as well. If you adjust the figures to take account of changes in demographic, the application rate in England – which

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 2 Comments
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