Applications to study at the region’s universities have fallen, figures show. The introduction of tuition fees in September appears to be responsible for the decline.
Liverpool University, where applications rose to 35,589 last year as students battled for places ahead of the new tuition fees, saw applicant numbers drop to 31,614 – a fall of 11.2%.
The university, ranked third in the North West for total degree-course applications behind Manchester’s two universities, partly attributed the fall to tougher entry standards in several subject areas.
A spokesman said: “Applications for 2011 entry were unusually high – the introduction of higher fees in 2012 meant few students opted for gap years last year.
“Compared with 2010 – a more realistic comparison – the figures for 2012 entry are 2% down.”
John Moores university, where applicants rose from 30,768 in 2009 to 33,411 in 2011, saw a 6.6% drop in applicants for 2012 to 28,987.
But Ormskirk’s Edge Hill university saw a 9.9% increase in applications from 2011. It said it benefited from being shortlisted for UK University of the Year three times in five years.