University applications from Bath youngsters down by 18%
The number of young people in Bath applying to go to university has dropped by 18 per cent since the introduction of tuition fees.
New statistics show that applications in the city have fallen at double the rate of the UK-wide figure of nine per cent, highlighting a trend that predominantly middle class areas are being hit the hardest.
The University and College Admissions Service has concluded that there is evidence of a sharper fall in application rates for young people from wealthier backgrounds, compared with poorer teenagers.
It is believed this could be because they are not able to take advantage of living grants and tuition fee waivers, available for teenagers from poorer households, so are most affected by the rise in fees.
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The number of people in Bath applying to university dropped from 3,366 in 2011 to 2,746 in 2012.
Today the National Union of Students was organising an Educate, Employ, Empower march in central London to raise awareness of the issue of young people being put off university because of the cost.
President Liam Burns said: “The sheer speed and scale of the fall in applications in some areas is something shocking.
“Tens of thousands of people from the length and breadth of the country have turned their back on university as a result of this government's policies. The waste of potential is tragic.
“Ministers are being at best naïve and at worst consciously ignorant to suggest that these profound drops are not connected to trebling of tuition fees.
“No one with the ability and aspiration should think they can't go to university but no amount of sermons from on high on the merits of the loan repayment system can deny these damning statistics.
“Our message is that a fairly funded and sustainable education system with clear support for the students who need it would not only boost the economy and employment but also empower individuals, families, and communities.”