By Ellen Coyne
Applications to study at Leeds universities have dropped by more than 12.8 per cent – almost 4 per cent below than the national average. Figures released by Ucas show that amid drastic fee increases demand from UK students for places in Leeds have dropped substantially in the last year, with some institutions showing a slump of almost twice the national average of 8.9 per cent.
The largest decline in applications came from students from England. This year’s English freshers will be the first to pay the new trebled tuition fees of up to £9,000. Leeds Trinity University College saw a considerable decrease, with 16.7 per cent fewer applications this year compared to 2011.
The university will be raising its fees to £8,000 this September. Students’ Union president Stephen Knowles said he hoped the drop was a “one off”. “I think maybe the word ‘college’ in the name might put some people off but that’s a name that we’re hopefully going to lose.”
Leeds Metropolitan University saw a similar decrease in demand, with 15.9 per cent fewer students applying. Leeds College of Music has also suffered a drop in demand, with 10.2 per cent fewer applications this year. However, at the University of Leeds applications were only down 5.8 per cent. A Ucas spokesperson said overall figures were down on 2010 and 2011 but up on 2009.
Despite the drop in applications, it is still expected that there will be more students than places available. Mr Knowles said higher fees could mean higher grades.
“I think you’ll see a lot of people taking university that bit more seriously and hoping for better results.”