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University applications down

10th Mar 2013

Category: Property headlines

Tagged:Student, HMOs, property investment

There is much talk in the media about the impact of fees on demand, i.e. number of applications being down as a possible consequence.

Unfortunately such an analysis falls short of painting the full picture.  The UK university market has always been very competitive with more people applying than Universities have places for.  Indeed, the UK UCAS applications to accepted applicants’ ratio has been over 5 for three years running.


Nottingham has two very popular universities and the University of Nottingham received over 49,000 applications for 5,500 places in 2010.  If the UK application numbers are down, it would appear Nottingham should not be adversely affected, nor would I argue should all but a very few universities such is the oversubscription for places.  If we look at a young person’s alternative, it would appear that the job market is not a particularly attractive place to join with 2.5m people unemployed in the UK so the tuition fee hike may not be as depressive on university places as first feared.  The cost of £9,000 pa is placed on students as a future tax in the form of increased student loans which are payable when future earnings are suffice – so the question of affordability is misleading, because it is affordable albeit expensive.

There will be a slight ‘spike’ in the applications statistics as the statistics show a ‘cause and effect’.  The cause: Tuition fee rises in academic year 2012/13.  The effect: Students who might have ordinarily taken a gap year went straight to university to lock in the lower fees of 2011/12.  This naturally means that applications for 2012/13 were down as a consequence, as widely reported, but does not equate to falling student numbers.

In the East Midlands for the last 5 years there has been 35,600 to 38,500 accepted applicants into the region.  Taking the average of 2011/12 and 2012/13 entries in order to ignore the spike of 2011/12 shows an increase on 2010/11 entries, which slightly bucks the UK trend.


Applications may be down, but accepted applicants should hold steady, particularly in established universities like the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent.  Student numbers may therefore be set to be steady, but could student's expectations shift?  I believe so, and that shift could be felt in the accommodation sector.  Read this next blog to see what that shift might mean ---> ###a href="Race" class="redactor-linkify-object">http://www.comfortlettings.co.... to quality student homes in Nottingham <--- and why you should make sure you are using a Quality Nottingham Student Letting Agent like Comfort Lettings to maximise the exposure and marketing of your property.

Houses in Nottingham?  Try our Free Rent Review.

Phil Ashford

Partner MEng(Hons) FCA MARLA

An experienced Chartered Accountant and a Founding Partner of Comfort Lettings.

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