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Second consecutive slump in university applications

3 January 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

The number of people applying to go to university in 2013 has slumped by 5.6% overall, with the biggest drop in England (6.5%), compared to the same time a year ago. The drop is a second consecutive fall after numbers also fell between 2011 and 2012.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We are witnessing a worrying trend of fewer people applying to university, particularly amongst young people. We have heard many warm words from the government about greater efforts to make university appeal to more people, but the bottom line is that hiking up the cost is likely to have an impact on people's decisions when it comes to further study.

'We need our brightest people pursuing their dreams. We simply cannot afford to fall behind other countries that are seeing a rise in the number of students and graduates. More must be done to encourage people to aspire to university and far greater efforts made to support them when they are there.'

Total applicants from England for courses starting in autumn 2013 are 14.2% down on 2011. Numbers of 18-year-old applicants from England are down by 9.0% over the same two-year period, far exceeding the estimated 2.3% reduction in the overall population aged 18 in England between 2011 and 2013.

The full figures can be found here (.pdf)