The Guardian homeBy . Ucas figures 'should set alarm bells ringing in government,' says thinktank. The number of UK-born students who have applied to start university next year has fallen by 8.4%, with a 9.9% drop in applicants from England, according to statistics released by the university admissions service. This continues the downward trend in university application rates prompted by the introduction of fees of up to £9,000 a year in autumn 2012.
The latest statistics, published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas), show 120,194 applicants from the UK, compared with 133,357 this time last year. By this point in 2010, before tuition fees were introduced, there were 157,116 applicants. The figures do not represent the final numbers – the deadline for most university applications is January. Applications by students in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have also fallen by 10.5%, 9.3% and 8.7% respectively. More...