Applications to the University are up by 8.5 per cent for home students and 5 per cent for overseas students.
These figures have emerged despite the trebling of tuition fees by the coalition Government last year.
This is significantly better than the national average, as recently reported by UCAS. Over all there was a 3.5 per cent rise in applications for higher education boosted by a recovery in overseas students.
The figures are also a vast improvement from last year, where Nouse reported a 1.6 per cent fall in overall applicants for 2012 entry when compared with the previous year.
“Whilst these figures definitely offer scope for optimism, it is early days for the HE funding reforms, and we shouldn’t sit too comfortably yet.
Nationally, the overall increase in marketing spend for Universities has gone up by 23% and this will no doubt have had an effect.
Over the next few years though, it will take more than smart PR to get the best students here, and to keep them here through offering a Student Experience to rival our competitors and stand out from the crowd. It will take smart investment, further removal of hidden costs and a real effort to differentiate the £9k experience from that of the £3k. Value for money is the one.”
It was speculated that the Government’s decision to treble tuition fees to £9000 back in 2010 would hold many students back from applying to higher education.
The policy was met with huge opposition from student and public bodies across the country, particularly the NUS who deemed the measure wholly unacceptable, as many would not be able to afford the rise for education that is argued as a fundamental right.
However, these figures suggest that students are continuing to make tough choices over their future education and seeking to request tuition fee loans until they can afford to pay back the fees.
The Russell Group, a contingent of Britain’s leading Universities, also welcomed the national figures stating: “This is the third highest number of applications of all time and there are still many more students applying for university than there are places available.”
York, Durham, Exeter, and Queen Mary, University of London, joined the Russel Group last year.
Liam Burns, NUS President, warned that we must not let claims that application rates vindicate fees policy go unchallenged;
“I grow increasingly frustrated as sector representatives devote ever-more resources to making the best out of what is being done to the sector, and to “marketing”
“Our statistics suggests that applicants are keen to ensure they choose a quality experience and confirms that our extensive programme of outreach to prospective students is effective.”