Applications to university have risen 4% nationally and applications to UoB have risen four times the national average increase.
Applications to Higher Education in the UK have risen 4% nationally since last year, UCAS has reported. 580,000 home and foreign students have applied for undergraduate courses across the UK. This equates to around 35% of all 18 year olds in Britain.
Applications to the University of Birmingham (UoB) are up by 16.39%, four times national average. UK applications are up by 14.17% with EU applications (excluding the UK) up by 32.83%. Overseas applications are up by 27.55% at the university compared to last year.
Last year applications to universities fell. However this year they have begun to rise again. This is in a similar fashion to before tuition fees were trebled for students who began after September 2012. There were fears that applications would fall again because of the increase in tuition fees. This left some feeling like they could not go to university.
There are multiple reasons provided as to why UoB has had such a significant increase in applications. One explanation is that being ranked ‘University of the Year’ by The Times and The Sunday Times has helped the university gain prestige. Another is that, with the rise of demand in computer science degrees, (UCAS showed that there was a 12% increase in demand for the 2013 year intake), prospective students are looking to universities with top computer science programmes, such as Birmingham.
According to UCAS, students from disadvantaged parts of the UK are twice as likely to apply as in 2004. Disadvantaged students from Scotland are 108% more likely to go to university now than a decade ago, the highest jump in disadvantaged students. Paul Clark, from Universities UK, has commented that ‘it is particularly significant that the 2012 fee rises do not appear to have put off disadvantaged young people from applying to university’.
Applications for mature students have also increased. Nevertheless, they have not gone back to the levels of 2010.
However the second largest applicants have come from first time applicants at the age of 19. These are students who did not apply last year, but have applied at 19. The demand has increased by 9.3% in England, the highest demanding country in the UK.
UCAS has provided details saying that, if the 18 year old population of 2009 and 2014 been equal, proportionally there are 16,000 more applicants in 2014 than there were in 2009.