Press release

MillionPlus comment on the UCAS June deadline statistical release

12 Jul 2018

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (12 July) commented on the UCAS June deadline statistical release, which show a 2% rise in applications from EU students but a 2% decline overall.

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“The modest recovery in applications from EU students appears to show that the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote has a fluctuating impact on applications. The government’s recent confirmation of fee and loan arrangements for these students for the 2019/20 academic year is certainly welcome news, but more must be done to signal that Britain is open to students from Europe and to ensure that numbers do not drop significantly.

“With an 8% drop in home student applications from those aged over 25 – reflecting an overall drop of almost a quarter in the last five years - these latest figures highlight again the need for urgent steps to better support people into higher education regardless of their age.  We hope that the Post-18 Education and Funding review panel will take the opportunity to suggest recommendations that will help rocket-boost mature participation in higher education, helping to reduce the untapped potential of prospective mature students to our economy and society.

“A fall in mature student numbers disproportionately hits nursing and other allied health disciplines, the majority of applications to which come from older learners. As many predicted, the removal of NHS bursaries for these students has had a highly detrimental impact on recruitment: applications are down 32% since 2016. We must act to address this decline.”  


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email
  2. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  3. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  4. Modern universities: key facts 2018