Kingston University has seen a surge in the number of applications as prospective students try to beat the fees increase.
According to figures released by UCAS, there were over 38,000 applications made before mid-January, an increase of 6.5 per cent, with months still to go before the deadline closes.
But not all the applicatants will be lucky. Although the university could not confirm how many places it will have available in September, last year the university accepted around 6,000 new undergraduates – suggesting that just 1 in 6 applicants could be accepted.
Across the country UCAS has reported a 5 per cent rise in applications, representing an extra 120,000 students applying for university places.
Education experts believe that many young people are rushing into education now before the Browne report kicks in, effectively tripling fees from the autumn of 2012. This was supported by figures released just before Christmas, showing applications from under 18s went down slightly, while an extra 7,000 19- and 20-year-olds applied.
The most popular faculty for Kingston applicants this year was the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), with almost 9,000 applicants so far, compared to 9,448 applications for the whole of last year.
Amanda Lunberg, FASS undergraduate admissions officer, told us this was about a 13% rise in applications compared to January last year. She said: “My guess is that people are trying to get in while the fees are still low. We think they are trying to beat the fee rise, and we’re not really sure what will happen next year.”
One applicant, Sarah, who is applying for childrens’ nursing, said: “I wanted to apply this year because I don’t want to work in my crappy job anymore. I need a qualification!”
“My decision wasn’t affected by the tutition fees as the course is paid by the NHS and I will recieve a bursary. However, I would really consider if it was worth paying £9000 per year or if there was another route.”
Another applicant, who is 23 and intends to study for an Architecture Diploma, said she would still apply if there were higher fees, but added: “I would also apply to universities abroad and would most probably move abroad, where the fees would be cheaper while maintaining a high degree of quality in education.
“£9000 would make me think carefully before selecting.