UCAS: EU falls further and non-EU “static” in October applications


Applications made to UK institutions by October 15 via UCAS have seen a drop of 16% from the EU while numbers from non-EU countries have remained stable, statistics from the UK university application process operator have suggested.

Posted on Oct 28, 2021by Viggo Stacey

The number of applications for the 2022 intake from Europe hit 4,370, down from 5,220 last year. Photo: pexels

The total number of applications made via the admissions service by international applicants has fallen 4%, from 22,730 for the 2021 entry to 21,820 this year – indicative of a similar small drop in statistics from July.

The 16% drop from students from Europe is equivalent to 850 fewer students at the same stage last year – from 5,220 to 4,370 in this application round. The fall is smaller than the 56% decline from EU the service reported on the later data release on August 10 for the 2021 intake.

The number of applications from beyond the EU “remains static” UCAS said. For the 2022 autumn intake 17,460 applications were made, down slightly from 17,510 from last year, which saw a “dramatic 20% rise”.

In a statement to The PIE, Jamie Arrowsmith, assistant director Policy and Global Engagement, Universities UK International said, “While the recent UCAS applicant data covers a small proportion of overall student recruitment, it is encouraging to see stability in the high numbers of non-EU applicants choosing UK universities, and to see significant increases across the devolved administrations.”

Ahead of the January 26 deadline for all courses, universities and colleges, the initial October 15 date is the deadline for candidates seeking to study courses in autumn 2022 at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, and most medicine, dentistry, or veterinary courses at other institutions.

It usually accounts for approximately 10% of the total number of applicants in a cycle.

“UK universities have been working hard to ensure students from around the world continue to be welcomed and supported during this time. As a sector, we look forward to welcoming the next cohort of students to our campuses and communities,” Arrowsmith added.

“Recruitment from the EU continues to be a challenge”

“Recruitment from the EU continues to be a challenge, with further decreases in EU applicants seen this year,” he said.

“EU students make a huge contribution to UK higher education, and we hope and expect that in the longer term, a UK university experience will continue to appeal to students from the EU – just as it does students from around the world.”

The statistics show a 5% increase from applications in China – 4,570 this year compared with 4,340 for 2021, following a 31% rise from 3,310 in 2020.

“Confidence in higher education in the UK remains strong,” Clare Marchant, UCAS chief executive, added.

Applications from Hong Kong however have fallen to 1,470 from 1,530 last year, Singapore to 1,510 from 1,540, India to 1,410 from 1,530, the US to 1,400 from 1,650 and Malaysia to 680 from 730.

UAE applications rose to 600 from 540 last year.

Ireland – where students are still eligible for home fees following the UK’s exit from the EU – saw a 15% increase in applicants for 2022, reaching 850 from 740 last year.

The EU country with the next highest applications was France with 470 (down from 560 last year), followed by Germany with 450 (down from 550). The application numbers from the two countries are lower than anything seen since at least 2013, the statistic showed.