Higher Education: Mature Students

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment his Department has made of the (a) particular requirements of mature students and (b) reasons for recent trends in respect of the number of university (i) applications and (ii) acceptances in respect of mature students.

Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Minister of State (Universities and Science)

We are providing extra help to mature students by ensuring that part-time under graduates, studying for at least a third of their time, will not have to face up front fees because they can access the same progressive finance package as full-time students. 93% of part-time under graduate enrolments are mature students. Those eligible for part-time support will rise to around 150,000; currently only 60,000 receive support.

The most recent data available( )show that the number of applicants in respect of mature students (defined as being aged 21 and over) to English institutions by domicile at the main scheme deadline for the period 2007 to 2010 was as follows:

2007 2008 2009 2010
UK and other EU 82,245 98,513 117,678 139,729
Non-EU 12,205 12,502 12,632 13,688
Total 94,450 111,015 130,310 153,417

and that the acceptances, for the same period, were as follows:

2007 2008 2009 2010
UK and other EU 66,024 79,317 86,621 83,764
Non-EU 7,820 7,662 8,207 8,089
Total 73,844 86,979 94,828 91,853

In 2008 the Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS) was incorporated into the main UCAS system for the first time. In 2008 there were 9,295 applicants who applied only to NMAS courses, and 8,410 who were accepted.


Universities and Colleges Application Service (UCAS).

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