Commenting on today’s publication of UCAS application figures for university courses starting in autumn 2013, Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said:
“These figures are very encouraging, particularly the increase in applications from 18 year olds living in disadvantaged areas of England.
“Applications from this group now stand at a record high – indeed, disadvantaged 18 year olds are over 80 per cent more likely to apply to higher education than they were nine years ago. This is a remarkable achievement and testament to universities’ and colleges’ commitment to reach out to students in schools and communities where very few progress to higher education.
“However, it’s still the case that we see only one application from 18 year olds in disadvantaged areas for roughly every three applications from 18 year olds in advantaged areas. We must continue to work to narrow this gap, so enabling our world-class universities to recruit from the widest possible pool of talent.
“For older age groups, today’s figures don’t show such a clear picture, because they’re more likely than younger people to apply later in the year. However, I’m pleased that mature application rates are generally similar to last year and, though not at the record levels seen in 2010 and 2011, are still an increase on 2009. OFFA encourages and supports the work that universities and colleges do in reaching out to adult learners.”
For further information, email email@example.com or call Sophie Mason, OFFA Communications and Press Adviser (tel: 0117 931 7204), or Zita Adamson, OFFA Communications Manager (tel: 0117 931 7272).