The number of UK-born university applications for 2012 university entry has dropped by almost 12%. This figure is not surprising as September 2012 sees tuition fees rise to up to £9,000 a year.
The first set of statistics on applications for university entry next year, published by UCAs show that 52,321 applicants have applied from within the UK, compared with 59,413 this time last year.
Universities and politicians have shown concern that the tuition fees hike might deter students from disadvantaged backgrounds from pursuing a university education.
Wendy Platt, director general of the Russell Group, which represents 20 of the leading universities in the UK, including Oxbridge, LSE and the University of Warwick told the Guardian that “students should certainly not be put off university by the new fees and funding system. If you’re good enough to get in, you can afford to go”.
David Willetts, the universities minister, remarked that “going to university depends on ability not the ability to pay”. This argument is debatable to say the very least.
Educational capital in the form of excellent qualifications might not be enough for students in a climate of cold hard cash. Time will tell if adequate financial provision will be made for talented students from disadvantaged groups to realise their potential by getting a university degree.
Categories: Higher Education