ATL says fear of huge debt stops students applying for higher education


A teaching union has blamed tuition fees for the 8.9% drop in university applications.

Figures from admissions service UCAS show 50,000 fewer people are applying to study than last year,

Martin Freedman, head of pay, conditions and pensions at ATL, said: “Today’s UCAS figures have blown out of the water the government’s argument that trebling tuition fees would have little effect on the number of students applying for university, with the steep fall in applications from students living in England clearly showing that students are being put off by the fear of huge debts.

“We are particularly worried by the fall in the number of over 19s applying for university, fearing they are being priced out of higher education.

“The decline in applications to study maths, engineering and European languages means England will continue to lag its competitors in these key skills.

“When unemployment among young people is at record levels it is scandalous that the government is restricting access to higher education and thus limiting youngsters’ life chances.”

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