There has been a drop in the number of UK students applying to university for the second year running, according to the latest official figures from university admissions body UCAS.
Admissions figures taken up to 17 December show that 265,730 people in the UK have so far applied to a university course starting this autumn – a drop of 6.3% on the same point in 2012’s application cycle.
Applications from English students are at their lowest since 2009, with applications down 6.5% on 2012 at 229,932.
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UCAS deadline approaching
The figures come ahead of the main 15 January application deadline for 2013 university entry and were collected just before the end of the school and college term.
According to a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) spokesperson, fewer than half of applicants have traditionally submitted their applications by this point in the cycle, making it ‘too early to form a definitive picture about university application for the 2013/14 academic year’.
Those starting university this autumn will be the second intake of students under the new tuition fee system, which enables universities to charge students a maximum of £9,000 a year in course fees.
University applications uncovered
The steepest drop came from Welsh applicants, with applications so far down 11.7% to 11,218. Applications submitted by Scottish students fell by 3.9%, while there was a marginal increase of 0.5% in applications from students living in Northern Ireland. The figures also show a slight slump in applications from other EU students, down 1.9%.
These latest 2013 application figures follow UCAS reporting a fall in the number of students starting degree courses in autumn 2012 compared to the previous year.