APPLICATIONS FOR the University of York have fallen by nearly 5% for the 06/07 year. This comes after, it was announced last week that as the national application rates have decreased in response to the newly introduced “top up” fees.
In a press release made by UCAS an average fall of 4% nationally in applications for courses beginning in 2006 was reported. York fared worse than the national average with a 4.7 % decrease. Universities such as Nottingham however, suffered considerably more with a decline nearly three times as great.; while York rival Warwick University, was down by less than 2%.
The University’s Director of Admissions and Schools Liaison, Connie Cullen however said “We are neither surprised nor are we alarmed by this fall…We knew the pendulum would swing back after last year’s increase.” This decrease has been expected after last year, which saw a national average increase by 9% in university applications as students rushed to avoid the “top up” fees which come into power in the next academic year.
With tuition fees almost doubling to £3000, not only home students, but overseas students have been are deterred. The University Press Officer, David Garner, said the international applications for York from outside the E.U have suffered a “considerable fall” by 3%.
With larger competition abroad it has been reported that UCAS fears the overseas student market for Universities in Britain may be about to collapse. Bringing in roughly £4 billion annually to British Universities, overseas students, which can be charged more than home students, provide a lucrative income for Universities. The international application rates however were only up by 0.3 % nationwide in the year preceding the “top up” fees, and the current fall may be the beginning of a new trend as Universities in Australia and China expand and attract more international students. In view of this decrease, University plans for expansion in Heslington East may could be a concern, as second year English and Philosophy student John Craine said “ In view of the national fall in applications, especially by overseas students, can the university really afford to double in size?”
Connie Cullen, the University Director of Admissions and Schools Liaison, said “over the last five years, applications have gone up by 21.5 per cent, so the overall trend remains upwards.” The University aims to “continue to make sure the University is well represented, to keep application levels up” said David Garner, the University Press Officer, . With a “high level of interest in our open days and other public events” Garner adds, the current dip in applications is not expected to have any severe implications on the university. Indeed the Department for Education and Skills reported that a similar decrease was experienced in 1998 following the introduction of tuition fees but application rates picked up again the very next year. With nine applications for places at York, the Press Officer dispelled concerns regarding the University’s expansion or decreases in applications
By Charlotta Salmi