Sharp fall in EU applications for UK’s most competitive courses

Fewer EU students applied for the most competitive UK university courses this year in the wake of the vote to leave the EU.

The 15th October deadline for dentistry, medicine and veterinary science came earlier than most courses, and figures from Ucas showed that application from the EU have fallen by nine percent. The drop in EU applications for the 2017 entry cycle compares to a rise of eight percent in the previous year.

Ucas said,  “EU applicant numbers for this 2017 entry cycle are close to where they were for the 2015 cycle, reversing the 8 percent  increase seen in 2016.”

The government did give assurance that EU students applying to UK universities for the next academic year would be eligible for loans and grants throughout the whole of their course, even if the UK’s exit from the EU takes place before they complete their studies. This assurance came just four days before the applications for those highly selective courses closed.

Nicola Dandridge, Universities UK Chief Executive, said: that the fall in EU applicants highlights “the importance of ensuring that prospective European applicants are made fully aware of the fees and financial support arrangements well in advance of the applications window.”

Applications from within the UK rose by three percent to a total of 39,440, while the number for those applying from outside the EU rose by one percent. Mary Curnock Cook, Ucas chief executive, described the overall increase as “encouraging”, but said that Ucas “will be watching the numbers of EU applications, especially now that the Government has confirmed arrangements for continuing access to student loans for 2017 courses.”


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James Chesson

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October 2021
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