View the full analysis of UK application rates by country, sex, age and background (2013 Cycle, January deadline)
January deadline application rates
- January deadline application rates are the first comprehensive indicators of changes in demand for higher education from the UK.
- Application rates – the proportion of population who apply – are the best measures of changes in application behaviour as they account for the size of the population. The 18 year population has reduced in size in 2013, continuing a trend so that there are now 7 to 8 per cent fewer 18 year olds in each country across the UK than there were in 2009.
- The January deadline application rates for 18 year olds are a particularly important indicator since they have generally not had the opportunity to apply in earlier cycles and nearly all of their applications are made by this point.
Application rates of 18 year olds by country
- Application rates for 18 year olds for each UK country are at, or very near, the highest levels recorded.
- Application rates for English 18 year olds have increased by one percentage point to 35 per cent in 2013. This increase is typical of the trend between 2006 and 2011 and takes the application rate back to the 2011 level after its decrease in 2012.
- Application rates for 18 year olds in Northern Ireland have increased to 48 per cent, application rates in Scotland (32 per cent) and Wales (30 per cent) are similar to the 2012 cycle.
Application rates of 18 year olds by background
- Application rates of 18 year olds living in disadvantaged areas in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland increase to the highest levels recorded in 2013; in Wales application rates for this group decline slightly (half a percentage point) but remain close to the high recorded in 2012.
- In 2013, 18 year olds living in disadvantaged areas across the UK are between 50 per cent and 80 per cent more likely to apply for higher education than in 2004.
- Adjusting for the population size, in the 2004 cycle for every 10 who applied from disadvantaged areas, 45 applied from advantaged areas; in 2013 this has fallen to 27 have applied from advantaged areas for every 10 who have applied from disadvantaged areas.
Application rates of 18 year olds by sex and background
- 18 year women remain more likely to apply to higher education than men – ranging from a third more likely in England and Northern Ireland to over 40 per cent more likely in Scotland and Wales.
- In England, 18 year old women are more likely to apply than men across all backgrounds but to a greater extent in disadvantaged areas (50 per cent more likely) than advantaged areas (20 per cent more likely).
Application rates of older age groups
- Application rate trends for age groups older than 18 are less clear to interpret at this point in the cycle.
- Application rates for these older groups show mixed trends but are generally similar or higher than in 2012.
- Around 15 to 20 per cent of 18 year old UK applicants are typically unplaced at the end of an application cycle.
- The proportion of these unplaced applicants who have reapplied in the 2013 cycle is 50 per cent in England, 45 per cent in Wales, 38 per cent in Scotland and 37 per cent in Northern Ireland.
- These reapplication rates are similar to levels in the 2011 cycle and substantially higher than levels typical in 2007 and 2008.
- In England, 2013 reapplication rates for those unplaced holding 'AAA' (87 per cent) are higher than for those unplaced holding 'AAB' (74 per cent), 'ABB' (71 per cent), 'BBB' (71 per cent). Reapplication rates for each of these grade profiles are similar to the previous cycle.
UK application rates by country, sex, age and background (2013 cycle, January deadline)
UK application rates by country, sex, age and background (2013 Cycle, January deadline) data files
UK application rates by country, sex, age and background (2013 cycle, January deadline) figures