30 January 2013

Latest UCAS statistics show modest improvements but no bounce-back

The data for university applications received by 15 January from those wishing to study full-time has been published by the Universities Admissions Service, UCAS, for the 2013 cycle.

In the past three years about 85% of the total applications have been received by January, but applications can be submitted until June and then through clearing. The UCAS statistics provide a guide to the numbers of those likely to study at university full-time in the next academic year.

The 2013 figures for full-time applicants show a modest 3.5% increase in applications to study at universities in the UK when compared to the sharp decline in applications in 2012. Comparing the 2013 figures to 2011 and 2010 there has been a fall in applications. Compared to 2011 there is a decline of -4.2% and a decline of -2.0% when compared to the same point in the applications cycle in 2010.

In 2012 the significant fall in applications translated into a significant fall in acceptances. Latest data from UCAS shows there were 51,000 fewer acceptances in 2012 in England compared to 2011. Statistics for part-time students are not yet nationally available but anecdotal evidence indicates a significant decline in 2012.

Commenting on the January figures, Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank, million+ said:

“This modest improvement in applications is welcome but no-one should be under any illusions – this is not a bounce-back. There is a long way to recovery and the Government needs to do much more to promote the value of higher education.

“If we want to see a thriving university sector accessible across the board, and targeted not only at school leavers but to people in their 20s and 30s and older who want to take up the chance to broaden their life-chances then the Government needs to throw its weight behind a national campaign promoting the life-long benefits of a university degree.”


Notes to Editors
1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk. For more information please contact Jean Candler, Head of Public Affairs on 020 7717 1659 or 07900 277 819.
2. The UCAS data for 2013 applications, and end of cycle data for 2012, is available on its website.
3. 15 January is the deadline for applicants to be guaranteed equal consideration by universities but it is not the final deadline. Applications to study at university in 2013 can be submitted to UCAS up to June and there is a further chance to apply through clearing.  Those who wish to study part-time apply direct to universities.