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Higher Education Admissions

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment he has made of trends in higher education admissions; and if he will make a statement. (146030)

The latest figures published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show that students from England applying for entry in 2007 are up by 6 per cent. compared to last year. They have also exceeded the large increase in 2005, meaning we are now seeing the largest ever numbers applying for higher education at this point in the application cycle. The small downturn we saw last year, which we always anticipated, has been strongly reversed this year. I am also pleased to see that there has been a slight increase in the proportion of applicants from the lower socio-economic groups. These highest-ever figures show that tuition fees are not putting students off applying to university as many predicted. The critics of the new system are being proved emphatically wrong.