Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Higher Education, responding to the news that UCAS applications have continued to fall, said:
“The number of university applicants from the UK is down by over 23,000 compared to the same time last year. These latest figures show that the Tory-led Government’s decision to treble tuition fees has led many students to delay their university applications. It is unfair that many who have the ability to go to university are being put off applying because of the high levels of debt that they will face.
“We are seeing a drop of more than 14 per cent among applicants aged 25 and over, showing that the chaotic and unfair policy to treble tuition fees is putting off those who are already in the workforce in investing in their skills and developing their careers.
“It is concerning that applications for subjects which are crucial for a sustainable, diverse and competitive economic future such as Technology, Architecture and Modern Languages have seen a greater fall of almost 20 per cent in applications, while other key subjects such as Computer Science and Biological Sciences also seeing a worrying drop in applications.
“Labour would reverse the corporation tax cut for banks and use the money to help cut fees to a maximum of £6,000. That is the difference between Labour, which makes investing in skills and knowledge a priority, and an out of touch Tory-led Government that will restrict opportunity and damage the future of our economy.
“The Government’s unfair, unnecessary and unsustainable decision to treble tuition fees to £9,000, while cutting university funding by 80 per cent, is putting many young people off university and threatening economic growth for this country and skills for the future. It demonstrates how out of touch ministers have become from the needs and aspirations of families up and down the country.”