Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have had a tough time over tuition fees, so it must’ve been some consolation when he stood the dispatch box this afternoon and declared:
“On the all important issue – the number of applications to university – in the recent UCAS figures… the proportion of English school leavers applying to university is in fact the second highest on record.“
Not only this, but:
“The percentage of 18yr olds from disadvantaged areas applying to university – according to the figures we’ve seen overnight – is higher than at any time under the Labour government.“
London Liberal Youth activists have welcomed the fact that the new fees system is not only more progressive in principle, but that this is validated by today’s figures and the increase in applications from disadvantaged areas.
London Chair Sean Davey commented:
“We believe no-one should be put off applying to university because of financial concerns. These figures are great news, but it is still essential that we get the message out that no one going to university will have to pay a penny up front.”
For a useful guide to the facts on fees, checkout MoneySavingExpert.com
Facts & Figures:
More than 250,000 18 year-olds (all domiciles) have already applied this year to go to university. The fall in the number of 18 year-olds applying to university – from 2011 to 2012 – is broadly in line with a decrease in the general population at that age. The decrease is less than 1%.
The percentage of 18 year-olds from disadvantaged areas applying to university is higher than under any Labour Government. There has been a larger decrease in applications from 18 year-olds in the most advantaged areas than from those in the most disadvantaged areas.
From the UCAS report on applications this year:
“Application rates for the most advantaged fifth of areas have fallen by 2-3 percentage points compared to falls of 0.1-0.2 percentage points in the most disadvantaged areas.”