Latest Public Sector News

25.04.13

Almost 50% of young people enter higher education

The number of students going into higher education is at the highest rate ever, statistics from BIS show. In 2011-12, 49.3% of young people in England entered higher education.

This is just below the 50% mark governments have long pledged to reach.

However, the statistics may have been given an artificial boost by a significant reduction in the number of students choosing to defer their studies to take gap years. Ucas statistics showed that fewer than 10,000 students chose to defer a place at university in 2011-12, compared with more than 23,000 the previous academic year.

This occurred as thousands aimed to beat the tuition fee rise to a maximum of £9,000 from 2012-13.

In total, 342,000 students entered higher education for the first time in 2011-12, an increase of 17,000 compared with 2010-11, while the higher education initial participation rate (HEIPR) went up to 49% after three previous years when it had remained stuck at around 46%.

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