EU students fill gaps at UK universities as home applications fall

James Nickerson
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EU applicants increased by six per cent compared to the previous cycle (Source: Getty)

There is a rising number of EU students applying to spots at UK universities, while the number of home applications is falling, new figures have revealed.

Statistics published by Ucas, the university admissions service, show 45,220 EU students applied for a place at a UK university starting this autumn, up six per cent on the number that applied last year.

That's compared to a total of 593,720 people who applied to start degree courses in the autumn, up just 0.2 per cent compared to the same point last year.

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"Our report shows further growth in demand for higher education but the declining 18-year-old population and a decrease in older applicants means the actual number of UK applicants available for universities to recruit remains flat," UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said.

Breaking down the figures reveals that the number of would-be-undergraduates from the UK fell 0.3 per cent last year.

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The decline in UK applicants is due to a one per cent fall in the number of English students applying. Meanwhile, the number of applicants from Northern Ireland has risen by two per cent, and by one per cent in both Scotland and Wales.

The report also highlighted that the difference between application rates for men and women in 2016 was the highest on record. In England, young women are 36 per cent more likely to apply.

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