Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: ‘Giving the poorest students more financial support for their accommodation and cost of living expenses would be a positive step forward.
‘Students consistently tell us that having enough money in their pocket is their main financial worry and can be the determining factor in where they study. 70% of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds say that the right accommodation is as important as the right course.
‘The emphasis on Level 4 and 5 qualifications is particularly welcome. Our dynamic new hub, currently in a beta trial, will deliver timely, bespoke and structured information to students on all their options and the support available, so they can make the right choice for them.
‘The proposed reduction in tuition fees could have an immediate impact on students’ choices, depending on when and how this is implemented.
‘Our analysis shows the 2012 rise in tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000 in England saw around 15,000 fewer students than usual defer their place in 2011, and a 5% drop in applicants in the first year of higher fees. If we saw a similar impact if fees were to be reduced in 2021, universities and colleges would need to plan for the possibility of more students deferring entry, or even holding off applying, until lower fees and improved financial support are in place.
‘After a decade of decline, the UK’s 18 year old population begins to rise again in 2021, and this reversal in demographics also needs to be factored into when and how changes are introduced.’
UCAS Press Office
- 01242 545 469
Notes for editors
UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people, each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK.