The BBC reports that: “As of January 22, the number of UK-based applicants, 499,451, was up 22.1%, while overseas applications rose 28.7% to 71,105. And more would-be students may yet apply.” This is just the latest of several years of increases.
The BBC further reports that the Russell Group–a consortium of the most competitive universities–experienced increases from 3% to 18% in applications. The increases are even more dramatic in Scotland: The increase in Scotland is even more pronounced, with a rise of almost a third in applications. “When the formal deadline closed, 38,763 Scots had applied for degree courses, up 31.2 per cent on last year. The rise in mature students is particularly great, with applications from Scottish residents over 25 more than doubling.” We also see a growth in Wales: “The number of accepted applications for higher education in Wales increased by 11.8% over 2008, a figure boosted by an increase in students from every geographic area and age group.”
Aberdeen University saw the greatest increase in applications of all Scotland’s ancient universities, a rise of 32 per cent to 16,795. The institution also saw the highest increase in applications for medicine in Scotland, rising by 30 per cent.
University College London said degree applications had grown by 2,000 to 33,220 this year. But at the same time, the number of available places has actually dropped slightly from 3,485 to 3,352.
At Sussex University, applications are up by 32 per cent this year to 11,345, but the number of available places has been frozen at 2,519.
At Oxford, the number of applications has soared by 12 per cent to 17,085, while numbers have increased by almost 8 per cent to 15,604 at Cambridge. It comes despite the fact that places at the two universities have been frozen at around 6,700.
Bristol’s University of the West of England has seen an even bigger leap, with applications up 27 per cent.
The University of Bristol has seen a slight drop in its figures but still expects about 11 applicants to be chasing every place on one of its courses.
University of Worcester – where applications are up 35% on last year –
Interestingly, two careers showed the most dramatic increases: Applications for social work courses have risen by 41.3 per cent, while nursing’s 73.7 per cent rise made it the most popular subject.