Universities: Admissions

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Conservative, Ludlow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many more students have attended university since the cap on student numbers was lifted; and what recent assessment his Department has made of whether there has been an increase in the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds attending university since that cap was lifted.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

In 2013, the government announced that the student number controls at publicly funded higher education institutions in England would be removed by 2015/16. This was preceded by a relaxation of student number controls for AAB students, who were made exempt from 2012/13, and ABB students, who were exempt from 2013/14.

Student number controls applied to full-time undergraduate students at English higher education institutions who were domiciled in the UK or European Union prior to study.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on students enrolled in higher education institutions in England. Time series for UK and EU domiciled full-time undergraduate entrants at higher education institutions in England have been provided in the table.

UK and EU domiciled full-time undergraduate entrants

English Higher Education Institutions

Academic years 2011/12 to 2017/8

Academic year

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Total entrants

389,575

334,820

362,910

373,950

387,610

395,485

393,675

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record 2011/12 to 2017/18

Note: (1) Figures in this table are rounded to the nearest multiple of five.

(2) Entrants refers to first year students.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) publish data on the proportion of disadvantaged 18-year-olds from England accepted to full-time higher education. In 2018 there were a record proportion of disadvantaged 18-year-olds from England accepted onto full-time higher education courses.

Entry rates for English disadvantaged 18 year olds

Application cycle

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Disadvantaged entry rate

14.4%

14.4%

15.6%

17.0%

18.0%

18.9%

19.9%

20.2%

Source: UCAS End of Cycle report 2018

Note: The disadvantage measure refers to POLAR Quintile 1. POLAR is an area-based measure of educational disadvantage.

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