Commenting on today’s UCAS application statistics, a Universities Wales spokesperson said:
“We are pleased to see that the proportion of young people choosing to study in higher education remains at a record high. This shows that young people in Wales continue to value the opportunities offered by universities. This is against the backdrop of a demographic dip in Wales which means the number of 18 year olds has decreased by 2.3% this year.
“Today’s figures show a small decrease of 2.5% in the number of students applying to Welsh universities. It is important to note that the January figures are early application figures and, as such, what they tell us about the number of students who study at Welsh universities is limited. In previous years, the figures for Welsh universities have increased between the January application figures and enrolments.
“These figures also do not reflect a key feature of the Welsh higher education landscape which is our emphasis on non-traditional routes into higher education such as part-time study. For example, the number of people from Wales choosing to study part-time increased by 35% this year. These figures show that the new student support package in Wales continues to be well-received by students.”
“We are also pleased to see a strong increase in the number of non-EU applicants to study in Wales, particularly as the number of applicants from this group decreased at this time last year. This is particularly important in light of the challenges posed by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. To retain a competitive advantage on the global stage post-Brexit we must encourage and support more of the population through higher level study.”