Despite, or maybe due to the Covid 19 pandemic, a record amount students have applied for university this year.
Univesities have been pleasantly surprised by a rise in applications for courses this year. A record 40.5 % of all UK 18-year-olds have applied to university. It is the first time more than two out of five have applied by the 30th of June, according to UCAS. An incredible 40.5 % of all UK 18 year-olds have now made an application to attend university. Last year 275,520 students applied, compared 281,980 this year. It had been feared that the Covid 19 pandemic would lead many students to choose to take a year out and defer their course. This was based mainly on news that universities were putting forward plans to teach online for the first term and reduce contact time with other students. Unis have also brought forward plans to make students live in social bubbles. These proposals would inevitably severely cut back on social activities including freshers week.
However, it seems that the impending recession, which looks set to be one of the worst in decades, has encouraged 18 year olds to view going to university as their best option. It is generally accepted that young people will be the worst hit by a lack of job prospects and opportunities. This coupled with great uncertainty in the apprenticeships market has encouraged students to view being at university for the next few years as the most logical thing to do. Students are perhaps wisely deciding to take cover from the storm.
Students going to university will benefit by being graduates in the future employment market, with more transferable skills. Interestingly, one of the most popular courses is nursing which has seen a 63% rise compared to last year. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds make up over a quarter of all applications. With the UK’s full withdrawal the EU looming, students from these countries have fallen by 2%, whilst applications from the rest of the world has gone up by 10%.
It should however be noted that applicants can still choose to defer at any point in the process.