NIACE response to interim UCAS figures

4 January 2012

The drop of 14.4% in UCAS applications for higher education since 2011, from those aged 25 and over, is more than double the average overall drop of 6.4%. These are findings from the latest application figures released by UCAS on Wednesday 4 January 2012, and are of concern to NIACE.

Alastair Thomson, Principal Policy and Advocacy Officer at NIACE, said:

“Although it is too early to make any final assessment of the application figures for 2012, the interim statistics show a worrying drop in participation among those aged 25 and over. Mature students are often trying to balance work and family commitments and are traditionally more risk averse, so recent changes to the fee structure are significant for this group.”

“When the final figures are released later in January, NIACE will look carefully at the differences in the application rate of adults aged 25 and over, as this may highlight important lessons around the introduction of loans for further education at level 3 and above from 2013.”