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UCAS: Applications to UK universities up 4%

Demand for student housing is likely to rise as figures from UCAS reveals applications to UK universities have jumped by 4%.

Encouraging figures from UCAS show that the number of applications to UK universities has jumped by 4% compared with this time last year.

Some 580,000 people have applied to start undergraduate courses at UK universities next academic year, compared with 559,000 last year.

Given the falling numbers of 18-year-olds in the population, application rates in this age group are at their highest levels, according to UCAS.

Around 35% of 18-year-olds in England have applied to university, and a similar rise was recorded among people applying from overseas.

UCAS Chief Mary Curnock Cook said: “This analysis shows a remarkably persistent growth in demand for higher education […] for institutions across the spectrum in the UK.”

Increasing student numbers is not a new trend; UCAS applications recorded annual growth of 8.5% between 2007 and 2013.

The figures have quashed concerns that higher tuition fees introduced in autumn 2012 would deter people from applying – and while the numbers did drop in the UK that year they have been steadily recovering.

Separate research from Deloitte found that increasingly discerning fee-paying students are expecting more from their university, with regard to both facilities and student accommodation.

The report stated that fee-paying students are “less willing to accept mediocre or outdated learning facilities, and the same increasingly applies to accommodation, where room quality and facilities are seen as important differentiators”.

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