University applications have dropped among the middle classes, according to recent figures.
Despite this general trend however, the University of East Anglia saw a 3% growth in applications made in 2012. A spokesperson for UEA said, “Due to the ranking and reputation of the university, the rise in tuition fees did not have a dramatic effect on applications in 2012.
“Applications to study at UEA were up around 3 per cent on 2010 which is the most recent comparable year. This illustrates that applicants still recognise UEA’s excellent academic reputation and the outstanding student experience we offer.
“The best year for comparison is 2010 as there was a significant surge in applications to UEA in 2011 – the last year before the increase in tuition fees. We knew that this anomalous growth would not be sustainable.”
However, other areas of the country has seen a drop of almost a quarter with regard to number of applications made to university – in North Tyneside, 23% less students have applied to go on to higher education.
There has been a national study of university applications based on parliamentary constituencies and it has revealed that the affluent middle classes are beginning to reject university as an option.
Considering that tuition fees for most universities are touching £9,000 a year, it comes as no shock that application numbers are generally lower. It is believed that the fall among the middle and upper classes is due to students not being able to take advantage of living grants and tuition fee waivers offered by Student Finance. Although fees have indeed trebled, there is no need to repay accumulated debt until one is earning £21,000 or above.