Any current or ex Apprentices who are considering applying for University should be wary of missing the 15 January deadline for UCAS applications after figures provided in the Telegraph revealed that one in three students face missing out on university this year as the rush to escape higher tuition fees generates record demand for places.
Figures outlined in the newspapers report show that by Christmas 344,000 candidates had completed university applications for the next academic year – more than ever before at such an early stage in the admissions process.
Students are desperate to secure university places in 2011 in order to avoid the rise in the tuition fees which will be introduced in 2012.
Last month MPs voted to allow universities to raise fees from their present level of £3,290 to £6,000 a year, with an upper limit of £9,000.
According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), demand among English students, who will be hit hardest by the rise in fees, is particularly high. Many students are believed to be abandoning their plans for a gap year to move straight into higher education.
The rise in applications is also being stimulated by a sharp increase in the number of students who are reapplying after being rejected last year.
If the current trend continues, it will result in about 705,500 people applying for university this year – up from the record of 688,310 last year.
That will result in close to 230,000 applicants missing a place completely – about a third of those competing for the expected 479,000 vacancies.
By 20 December, following the Parliamentary vote on fees, 344,064 students had already applied for courses starting this autumn – the last academic year before the rise in fees. That represented a 2.5% rise on the same point a year previously.
According to UCAS, applications increased by almost 8% among 19 year olds and 12% among those aged 20. It suggests a sharp rise in the number of people reapplying after being rejected in 2010.
Applications were up by 3.3% among students from England.
In Wales, the devolved government has pledged to hold fees at the present level for Welsh students, while Scottish students studying in Scotland will continue to pay no fees at all. The Northern Ireland assembly has yet to announce its fees structure for 2012.
LFE would ask all Apprentices who are considering applying to ensure that their application, including the reference, is at UCAS by the 15 January deadline as applications that do not meet this deadline do not have to be considered by universities.
15 January 2011 is the deadline for receipt at UCAS of all applications, including the reference, for all courses except those with a 15 October deadline, and art & design courses with a 24 March deadline.
For any further guidance about your application please visit www.lfe.org.uk/downloads/apprentice-brochures to download LFE’s Guide to Higher Education Applications.