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University undergraduate recruitment falls in 2014-15

Recruitment of undergraduate students at UEA was lower in 2014-15 than in the previous academic year, university statistics have revealed. The university says it had planned for this eventuality, and that the shortfall has not adversely affected its finances.
Figures produced annually by the Planning Office show how many students are registered as attending UEA. The most recent report, published in December 2014, seemed to show that undergraduate recruitment was nearly 5% lower than the previous academic year, and that this could have left the university with a substantial financial shortfall. However, the Planning Office has explained that some students were not included in last month’s figures because their registrations were delayed. Updated statistics will be provided at a later date.
Financial documents from a meeting of University Council, the university’s decision-making body, on 1st December 2014 stated that student recruitment was “lower than forecast” across multiple schools, and that some schools were having “financially challenging year[s]”. All other budget information was redacted.
However, a UEA spokesperson said that the lower recruitment has not left the university with a financial deficit, commenting that: “The number of new undergraduates coming to UEA in September 2014 was lower than the previous year, but this was not unexpected and was planned for”.
Despite a drop in recruitment at UEA, the Ucas End of Cycle Report for 2014 found that many providers of higher education have accepted more students in 2014-15 compared to 2013-14; 62% of providers reported an increase in recruitment.
It is currently uncertain whether it is a reduction in applications or greater discernment on the part of the university that places it out of step with other higher education providers nationally. But the university spokesperson did say that UEA “took the strategic decision to recruit only students of the highest quality to maintain a high entry tariff”.
With Ucas applications for the 2015/16 academic year due for submission in just two days time, the university is optimistic about its performance: “Although the current application cycle is ongoing for September 2015 entry, the demand for places at UEA is already looking extremely positive”.

13/01/2015

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