The real reason university applications are dropping isn’t the fees
It's that there aren't enough 18 year olds, UCAS says
As A-level results come in this morning, universities are ever more chilled when it comes to making offers... because there just aren't enough 18 year olds to fill the spots.
What it means: University fees increased by double or triple in 2012 (depending on the uni). Some unis are entirely funded on student fees now... so they really need the students.
But the population is ageing, and there just aren't as many 18 year olds as there were three years ago. The percentage of 18 year olds applying to university is actually going up – but that's still not enough to cover the number of places universities need to fill to make their finances make sense.
That's leading unis to be more lenient on offering places if someone doesn't meet their offer, with one uni even offering bonuses to students for choosing them. It's making some watchdogs nervous who say we shouldn't put students in classes they can't do just to fill the places.