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Decline in student applicants cause for concern, says UCU Scotland

20 July 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Responding to university application figures released today by the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), UCU Scotland warned that the decline in the number of applicants from Scotland is a cause of concern.

For the second year running the number of Scottish domiciled applicants to higher education has declined. Last year this decline led to a drop in the number of students in higher education with some institutions fined for under recruitment.

The figures also show a significant increase in applications from students over 21 years of age, many of whom may be classified as mature students if they have been in employment or claimed benefits for three years. Such students would be presently exempt from the graduate endowment and able to claim an increased bursary.

Terry Brotherstone UCU Scotland President said: 'We need to do more to encourage Scots to apply for higher education, as simply lifting the caps on recruitment will not work if the pool of applicants is diminishing. This is not only about the viability of our universities but also the Scotland's future.

'It also seems that potential students are delaying entry to higher education to avoid debt and the graduate endowment, as those applying at 21 years or over has increased for the second year in a succession. Clearly potential students are put off by the Graduate Endowment. The Scottish Government's proposed abolition of the Graduate Endowment should therefore encourage a great and earlier take up of higher education places.'

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