Mary Curnock Cook, chief of UCAS, said that this “stubborn gap’’ required urgent attention.
UCAS says that although the number of 18 year olds in the population has fallen, applications within that age group are up.
With the higher tuition fees introduced in 2012, there was a concern that fewer people would apply, and although numbers did drop that year, they have been slowly rising.
According to UCAS, people from disadvantaged backgrounds are now twice as likely to apply as they were in 2004.
Paul Clark, from Universities UK, which represents Britain’s universities, welcomed the rise in applications overall, saying: “It is particularly significant that the 2012 fee rises do not appear to have put off disadvantaged young people from applying to university.’’
APPLICATIONS TO UK UNIVERSITIES FOR 2014
- 580,000 in total
- 408,300 from England
- 19,550 from Northern Ireland
- 41,080 from Scotland
- 21,010 from Wales
- 39,780 from EU excluding UK
- 50,290 Non-EU foreign nationals