Applications to universities in the borough have plummeted to below the national average during the first year of charging higher tuition fees.
Roehampton University is suffering from 27 per cent fewer applications this year, despite declining to charge the maximum of £9,000 for undergraduate degree courses. St George’s University of London, based at St George’s Hospital, has also experienced a 6 per cent decline in applications.
National figures show there was a 9 per cent drop in university applications overall, but there has been an increase in students applying from overseas. Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website show 8,964 students applied for courses at Roehampton last year, but this has dropped to 6,519 in 2012.
The university is charging £7,900 for most honours degree programmes, with a fee of £8,250 for dance, biological science, sport science, zoology and management courses. St George’s charges students the maximum of £9,000 a year for undergraduate degree courses. Kenton Lewis, head of student recruitment at St George’s, said: “In line with figures across the university sector, our 2012 applications are slightly lower than last year.
“However, 2011 saw a marked increase in applications from 2010, possibly due to students looking to secure a place before the introduction of the Government’s new tuition fee plans.” Adam Streek, 22, of Lavender Hill, is studying towards a higher national certificate in graphic design at South Thames College and pays £1,200 for his course.
”I am saving a lot of money – about £4,000 to £5,000. I think it is the best decision all round. ”I’m in a better situation than my friends who went to university or plan to as half of them are in debt and some had to go far away and pay to live on site.