New undergraduate recruitment at some of the UK’s most prestigious universities has fallen by up to a quarter this autumn.
The “unprecedented” drop in the number of undergraduates admitted to Russell Group institutions is the biggest on record, according to experts, and comes after three years of rapid expansion among universities under study using estimated results during the Covid-19 pandemic. -19 pandemic.
Analysis by Times Higher Education Newly released data from admissions service Ucas shows that 140,735 students will start courses at Russell Group universities in 2022 – a quarter of all undergraduates.
But Russell Group admissions fell 10 percent from the 156,990 applicants accepted in 2021 — the biggest drop since similar records began in 2006.
At the University of Exeter, the number of accepted applicants fell by 26 per cent, to 6,060, in 2022 – the institution’s smallest recruitment round for six years.
Equally significant enrollment declines were recorded at Durham University (down 24 per cent), University of Edinburgh (down 21 per cent) and University of Bristol (down 20 per cent).
Only three of the 24-strong Russell Group have increased in size: the London School of Economics, Newcastle University and the University of Sheffield.
In comparison, higher education institutions outside the Russell Group increased enrollment by 4 percent per year.
Post-92 universities received around 277,000 applicants in 2022 – a 5% increase on 2021, and the highest since records began.
Mark Korver, co-founder of DataHE and former director of analytics and research at Ucas, said there was an “unprecedented year-on-year” drop in UK 18-year-olds taking to Russell Group.
“Most of them [this was] Addressing the exceptions of previous years, but not all,” said Dr. Korver.
“The UK economy and the pressure on overseas students to grind down, which is likely to worsen in the future”, could also explain the drop in employment, he said, citing domestic tuition fees falling at a time of high inflation.
If this reflects the ever-increasing economics of educating 18-year-olds in the UK, universities popular with high-paying international students will likely want to regain their share of the ‘Uk 18’ market. Anytime soon,” Dr. Korver said.