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College boost

Universities see record applications in lockdown

Edinburgh University Medical School

Universities feared a slump in applications (pic: Terry Murden)

Applications to university have risen, defying expectations of a fall, with a record 40.5% of all 18-year-olds in the UK applying for a place, according to the university admissions service Ucas.

It is the first time that more than four out of 10 students (40.5%) had applied by 30 June to go to university.

The figure compares to 38.9% at the same point in the admissions cycle last year.

Applications for nursing are up 15% year on year, perhaps reflecting the new positive mood towards caring industries.

For the first time more than a quarter (25.4%) of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds had applied to university or college by 30 June, the final deadline to apply for up to five courses simultaneously.

The figures will provide some relief for universities which have been fearing a huge slump in applications in the wake of the coronavirus. It is possible that the prospect of fewer available jobs may have encouraged applications.

However, it is not yet unknown how many students will change their minds in light of experiences in lockdown and the likely impact on life in the months ahead.

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