Record Intake of Students Signals Confidence in the Value of Higher Education, Vice-Chancellor Says

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News that a record number of students found places on degree level courses this year shows there is continuing public confidence in the value of a university education, according to University of Worcester Vice Chancellor, Professor David Green.

A report published today by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) shows that the number of British students accepted onto full-time undergraduate courses rose by 6.7 per cent in 2013 to a record high of 433,612.

Acceptances overall were also the highest ever recorded, at 495,596.

Taken together with the Government’s announcement that it will lift controls on student numbers from 2015, the figures point to a ‘massive boost’ in the coming years for universities and the British economy, said Professor David Green, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Worcester.

Economist Professor Green said: “More people studying at university than ever before is wonderful news for students, families, society and the economy.

“The Government’s welcome decision to uncap student numbers will be a massive boost in helping the country develop the educated, skilful, responsible citizenry we need to create a strong, caring society and dynamic economy fit for the 21st Century.”

The University of Worcester itself received record applications for its courses in 2013, and has been the fastest growing university in England over the past eight years.

Worcester has been particularly successful at attracting students from low income backgrounds, leading a national trend. The new UCAS figures show that university entry rates for disadvantaged young people are at the highest levels recorded across the UK, with disadvantaged 18 year olds in England 70 per cent more likely to enter higher education in 2013 than in 2004.

Compared with entry rates in 2011, the year before the introduction of higher tuition fees in England, 18 year olds in disadvantaged areas in England were 12 per cent more likely to enter in 2013.

Professor Green said: “It is particularly pleasing to learn that record numbers of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are finding places on degree courses, despite the rise in tuition fees. It shows there is continuing confidence in the value of higher education even among those from lower income families.

“The University of Worcester is playing its part in attracting such students by offering a £3,000 scholarship to all new eligible students in 2014 in receipt of a maximum grant who will be from households with a residual income of £25,000 or less.”