Spiralling fees have not stopped a mad dash for the rapidly disappearing remaining places at the city’s universities.
Tuition fees are rocketing in September to just under, or the maximum, £9,000 a year at Liverpool’s three universities and official figures show they have been hit with an annual drop in applications.
But while fees may have hit overall applications, students with university hopes but who did not fare as well in their A-levels are snapping up the few remaining places at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, and Liverpool Hope University.
The process known as clearing is a last chance saloon for students who did not do as well as they hoped, with the system flagging courses which are available to them. And today university chiefs stressed there was little room at the inn, with most places already allocated since A-level results day last Thursday.
Liverpool Hope University said it had been “overwhelmed” at the number of students knocking on the door during clearing.
Dean of Students Dr Penny Haughan said the majority of inquiries had come via the official UCAS system which “tells us that those students who have applied to go to university this year, despite the introduction of higher fees, have given early thought to their decisions.”
Although unwilling to disclose numbers the university is refusing to lower its grade expectations for its few remaining places.
Dr Haughan added: “We are still welcoming enquiries from students who are well-placed academically to start degree studies in September.”
Due to the constantly changing picture Liverpool John Moores University also refused to reveal the exact number of remaining places, but Carolyn Williams, director of student recruitment and widening access, said: “The popularity of the university remains very high and demand for places is strong.
“We do have a very small number of places available for well qualified students.”
The University of Liverpool said it had some clearing places available in a number of subjects but they were aimed at “exceptional candidates who may have done better in their A-levels than expected”.
As of yesterday Ormskirk’s Edge Hill, which bucked the trend and saw an increase in applications for 2012, had just 50 places remaining and urged students to get in touch as soon as possible.