Two days ago, the University and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) revealed the details of the drop in university application in the United Kingdom (UK) for 2012 tuition fees months after the government announced that universities would be able to charge up to £9,000 for tuition fees. Students had from September 2011 until 30th June 2012 to apply for undergraduate studies in the UK.
The chart 1 depicts the cumulative evolution of applications in the UK for both domestic and international students. A drop of 7.7% of applications has been recorded compared to the previous year, representing 51,709 students less. January recorded the largest difference (-17,226) compared to 2011 because this was when application for most of the courses opened. (In October, students could apply only to dentistry, medicine, veterinary science and veterinary medicine and to all courses at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.)
Although the rise of tuition fees deeply affected British students, international students still demonstrated an interested for studying in the country. Chart 2 illustrates the evolution for students from Europe (-6,132), UK (-50,339) and non-European countries (+4,762). With an unemployment rate of 21.9% for the 16-24 youth in the UK according to the government and 12.90% less UK students who have decided not to apply for a university degree this year, youth employment is likely to be affected more than ever during the next quarters.