9th March 2016
The first reliable indicator of demand for UK university places each year is the mid-January UCAS deadline for full-time undergraduate applications. The 2016 process has revealed a 0.2% increase over the previous year’s application numbers, with 593,720 people applying for UK higher education courses in 2016.
Interestingly, the increase has not resulted from higher numbers of UK applicants, but from an increase in applicants from the EU. UK applicant numbers have declined by 0.3%, largely as the result of a 5% decrease in applications from young people aged 20-24. Meanwhile, EU applicant numbers have risen by 6%.
Mary Curnock Cook, Chief Executive of UCAS, comments,
“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.”
Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO of luxury student accommodation provider Collegiate AC, comments,
“2016 represents a shift in the landscape of higher education in the UK, with domestic application numbers falling and EU numbers rising. It means that student accommodation providers need to be tuned in to the needs of students from overseas, as well as those from within the UK.”
Collegiate’s own student accommodation places considerable emphasis on safety and security, with CCTV in communal areas, secure electronic entry, on-site management and an out-of-hours callout service. It’s a factor that appeals to many students from overseas – and to their parents, who are often the ones funding their offspring’s UK accommodation during their years at uni here.
Safety is an important feature for young women attending university in the UK as well and the latest UCAS data has revealed the relevance of this in 2016. The figures show that young women in England are 36% more likely to apply to university than their male counterparts: the highest difference in application rates on record. In disadvantaged areas of England the difference rises to a staggering 58%.
Despite the disparity in figures, one thing is certain for 2016 given that overall demand is on the rise – the student accommodation sector across the UK needs to be ready for a fresh influx of talented young people this autumn.