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Tuition fees blamed for drop in East Lancashire university applications
4:00pm Saturday 5th January 2013 in News
APPLICATIONS to universities have fallen by almost 15 per cent in parts of East Lancashire, which education bosses say is a result of increased tuition fees.
The data was collated by the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and experts found there were 635 fewer applicants from the region in 2012 compared with a year earlier, a fall of almost 10 per cent.
Across England the number of university applications has slumped by 18,000 in 12 months and figures show that demand is down by 6.3 per cent.
Students in England have been put off by rising fees, with the cap on annual tuition fees trebled to £9,000, with most universities choosing to charge the maximum allowed.
In East Lancashire, Pendle saw the biggest drop in university applicants – a fall from 930 to 795 applications (-14.5 per cent), closely followed by the Ribble Valley which saw a decrease from 715 to 615 (-14 per cent).
Burnley also saw a reduction of 10.7 per cent, Rossendale 9.3 per cent and Blackburn 8.5 per cent.
The figures are based on applicants who live in the local authority areas, applying to universities and colleges across the UK.
Simon Jones, Lancashire secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “Going to university is no longer an automatic choice for a teenager with good A-levels.
“It has become an investment decision that usually must be made by the family as an economic unit, and it is a decision that has significant risk.
“Young people who choose to go to university are burdening themselves with debts of more than £30,000 that will remain with them for decades if they aren’t paid off.”