05 Apr 2018
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (5 April) commented on the UCAS Undergraduate application figures made by the 24 March deadline.
Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“While it is welcome that the proportion of 18-year-olds applying to university is at its highest ever level and that demand for higher education remains strong across the UK, these latest figures show a continued decline in applications from mature students in England, with 10% fewer aged 25 and over compared to this point last year.
“The figures also show a 10% decline in nursing applications, with numbers continuing to fall since the abolition of NHS bursaries in England. There is a clear relationship between these two statistics, with nursing applicants accounting for around one sixth of all mature applicants.
“As our recent report on mature students makes clear, addressing the decline in their numbers must be a key priority for policymakers. Mature learners represent a huge pool of untapped potential across the UK. In order to meet the challenges we face today – relating to fairness, social justice, skills development, or productivity – it is vital that everyone can access educational opportunities.
“With the Office for Students now open for business and the post-18 education review consultation underway, MillionPlus calls on the review panel and the government to make now the time to rocket-boost activity to engage and support mature students.”
Notes to editors