Fees scare off new students

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The Independent Online
The fall in applications to universities in the wake of the Government's introduction of tuition fees is now as great as 45 per cent on some courses, according to National Union of Students figures, writes Ros Wynne-Jones.

The University of Plymouth has experienced a drop of 24 per cent, while applications to Salford University are down 26.5 per cent. Institutions including St Catherine's College, Oxford and Birmingham University are also seeing falls of 10 to15 per cent.

The figures reveal the national picture to be far worse than predicted. The NUS said the fall in applications was directly related to the Government's policy under which students from next year are to pay pounds 1,000 per year towards the cost of their tuition.

But the Department for Education criticised the NUS for "harping on about the tuition fee and spreading confusion" and urged students "not to be put off by scare campaigns".