University applicants were told on Wednesday that nearly 50,000 of them would not get a place. This year 52,000 more people applied to universities in England compared to last year, but there are only 3,000 more places available.
Government ministers are apparently looking to increase places by 10,000 in light of this, but universities may resist such a move as they may not get money for the extra students.
Applications to universities have risen by nearly 10% in the past year, and the recession seems to have encouraged more mature students — those over 21 — to apply to university. Applications from the 21–24 bracket have increased by 14.9%, and applications from those over 25 have increased by 18.8%.
However some universities are now warning there will be just 16,000 places in clearing, compared with 43,000 last year. This not only worries applicants but also vice-chancellors, as universities will face fines if they over-recruit. There are also fears over whether the competition will force out students from poorer areas — individuals the government is trying to attract
The Guardian | Figures reveal shortfall of nearly 50,000 university placesTweet