Fee rise repels university applicants


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The Independent Online

Thousands fewer students have applied for university places this autumn − but there will still be a scramble for places after A-level results are published.

University sources predict there will be a drop of about seven per cent in the numbers applying this September, rising to nine or 10 per cent when applications from English students are counted separately.

The official deadline for applying for university places this autumn − the first year when students will be charged up to £9,000 a year − expired on Saturday.

Seven per cent equates to just over 45,000 applicants, which means there will be about 100,000 more applicants than there are places available.

Last year saw record numbers applying, as school leavers sought to enter university before the new fees were introduced.

Ucas, the university admissions service, indicates that applications from mature students have dropped the most − with a fall of more than 10 per cent.