Overseas Applicants Fill Gap In Art & Design Courses

Despite 8.7% Drop In UK Applicants Arts are the third most popular courses

Creative arts and design are currently the third most popular university subjects after medicine and business studies. A report released this week has highlighted the figures published by the Ucas admissions service showing that on the 15 January deadline there were 462,507 applications to courses beginning in September. This represents a 8.7% drop in applications from students in the UK, but an increase in overseas applications. Taking this factor into account, the overall figure was 7.4% lower than at the same point last year. Applications in England are down over 50% far more than in any other region in the UK, as a result of the coalition government making this the most expensive country in the world to gain a state subsidised degree. On Monday figures also showed that the number of 18-year-old UK applicants, the largest single group of candidates has decreased by 3.6%, representing a drop of just under 8,500 people. The number of 18-year-olds in the population has declined by 11,000 this year, to 772,000, according to the Office for National Statistics, a fall of 1.4%. It is also clear by the figures that the total applicant numbers, including overseas and mature candidates, are 7.4% lower than at the same point in 2011, Ucas says. The number of applicants from the UK has decreased by 8.7%. The sharpest drop is among male applicants. The proportion of men is down 8.5% on last year, while female applicants are down 6.7%. A 13.7% increase in overseas candidates from non-EU countries was also found.

Back in October we reported that according to the latest figures published by UCAS, applicants for courses commencing September 2012 were below average. This massive drop was attributed to the introduction of fees from this year. Some art courses made it clear that they would be charging the maximum of £9000. This statistic compared to a 7.9% decline in applications, across all courses. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service had been unable to account for the discrepancy. Creative arts and design courses were predicted to suffer the biggest drop among the subjects surveyed.  The only slower-growth area was mass communications and documentation (down 40.6 per cent) and education (down 30.4 per cent). However this never materialised.

Despite these figures entry into university remains intensely competitive. A total of 492,030 students were accepted at UK universities last year. More than 540,000 students have applied for entry to university for last September, and while the main deadline has now passed, applicants can still apply to Ucas clearing in August.

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