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Independent Commission on Fees – September 2013 report

October 1, 2013

The Independent Commission on Fees has recently published a useful report analysing UCAS applications across the UK for 2013.   The full report is available  at the foot of this press release.

The report emphasises that the introduction of higher fees in England appears to have had the largest impact on mature students, where numbers in England have fallen significantly, while they have risen in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It also notes: “For school leavers, the figures should be seen in the context of a decreasing population of young people. The proportion of school leavers applying appears to be remaining constant in England, while showing some continued growth in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.” Wales and Northern Ireland have continued with fees of just over £3000 a year.

For Scotland specifically there is interesting data showing that the overall growth in applications of 0.7% since 2010  has been  driven by a 16.5% increase in applicants aged 20-24, while applications from younger applicants have fallen by 2.8% and older ones by 5.8%.  This peak in 20 to 24 year olds is common with Northern Ireland and Wales: England is only nation where applications fall most steeply in higher age groups.  Northern Ireland is the only nation where applications have increased in every age group.  It is possible that the economic position is driving up applications from 20 to 24 years olds in the nations with no or lower fees, while the £9000 fee regime in England uniquely more than counter-balances that effect.

The analysis also provides data by country on gender differences in application rates and in patterns of cross-border applications. The detailed analysis also shows that applications in England have been most affected from groups in the highest participation neighbourhoods, while those from low participation neighbourhoods have been less affected.




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