Increased Tuition Impacting Uni Applications, Panel Says
|An expert panel has said that the increase in university tuition fees is beginning to have an impact of applications.
The Independent Commission on Fees says there has been "a clear drop" in English students applying, compared with those from the rest of the UK.
The panel, headed by writer and academic Will Hutton, adds there has been no relative fall in applications from poorer areas.
Ministers say there is still "very strong demand" for university.
The Independent Commission on Fees is supported by the Sutton Trust, a charity which aims to improve educational opportunities for young people from disadvantaged homes.
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"Although it is too early to draw any firm conclusions, this study provides initial evidence that increased fees have an impact on application behaviour,” panel chairman Will Hutton said.
"There is a clear drop in application numbers from English students when compared to their counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
"On a positive note we are pleased to see that, at this stage, there has been no relative drop-off in applicants from less-advantaged neighbourhoods."
In its first report, the panel draws on statistics from the university admissions service Ucas, as well as a survey of the attitudes of some secondary school pupils.
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