Rise in UK university applications

The number of students applying to universities in the UK has risen by 6.4 per cent.

The figures, produced by the admissions service Ucas, shows the number of people applying to full-time undergraduate courses, due to begin in September this year, has increased by 23,624.

The top-up fees deterred many students applying for university last year, but according to the report the impact has not been very long lasting.

Applicants to English universities increased by 7.2 per cent, Scotland universities by 1.9 per cent and Northern Ireland university applicants saw a rise of 0.3 per cent.

However, institutions in Wales saw a drop of 0.1 per cent in applications.

Anthony McClaran, the chief executive of Ucas, said: "These figures are encouraging for all who believe the expansion of higher education is good for individuals and good for our society.

"Not only has last year's dip in applications been reversed, but application levels are now higher than in 2005 which had previously broken all records. The increase is particularly marked in England.

"It's also good to see evidence of effective competition for international students, with double digit increases in the key markets of the India, Pakistan and the United States."

The number of people applying from outside of the EU rose by 6.6 per cent and applicants from China have risen by 1.3 per cent and from Hong Kong by 10.3 per cent. (CD)

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