As recent official UCAS figures show, the amount of applications for university places has fallen by 8.9% this year. As tuition fees are set to almost treble for the 2012/2013 academic year, it would appear that English students’ applications are the most affected, showing a 50,000 decrease compared to that of last year.
However, as always, the decline is not as black and white as it may seem. This is not the first time that applications have fallen after a fee hike. When tuition fees of £1,000 were first introduced by the Labour government and again when they were increased to £3,000 a few years later there was a burst of activity, with students quickly clamouring to get their applications in before the fees rose.
Whilst resentment amongst prospective students may remain high, the tuition fee hike hasn’t deterred applications if compared to years previous to 2011. Applications on a whole are still up, meaning the student market is as buoyant as ever. There may be a recent fall in applications but this doesn’t equate to a drop in students that will begin university in September.
With this in mind the enormous spending power that students hold will continue this year and with students looking to get even more out of their degree, we may even see an increase