Drop in Applications from Potential Students in Scotland

Councillor Laurie Bidwell

26 October 2011

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (ACAS) published their first set of statistics on applications to university next year.

Their report reveals that so far 52,321 applicants have applied from within the UK, compared with 59,413 this time last year, a drop of 11.9%.

The statistics are an early indication of the total number of applications, but only show the number received by universities by 15 October.

With the exception of Oxford and Cambridge Universities and courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, candidates still have until 15 January to apply for a place at University starting in Autumn 2012.

The table below shows the picture in relation to applicants living in Scotland which shows a decrease of 11.85% compared with the same period last year which is marginally less than the overall UK rate of 11.9%.

Table 4c: total applicants by domicile (UK only; arranged by region)

By UK region



Diff (+/-)

Diff (%)







The UCAS report also reveals that more women than men have been put off from applying to university. Some 10.5% fewer women have applied this year, and 7% fewer men.

Applications from mature students have also been markedly reduced.

The proportion of applicants aged 40 or older has fallen by 27.8%, while those aged between 30 and 39 has dropped by 22.7%.

It is too early to know exactly what has effected this drop in applications from Scotland for a place at University.

It is however a negative indicator as it is probable that undergraduate student numbers at Abertay and Dundee Universities will go down

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