School of hard knocks

The outlook for demand for higher education in the UK

Report

The higher education sector in the UK has witnessed significant growth over the past three decades, with a combination of demographic, economic and policy drivers fuelling demand (as measured by the number of applications) since the 1980s. 

However the sector seems to be at an inflexion point.  Indeed, pressures on state funding coupled with an increasing need for a highly qualified workforce has driven the government to push a reform agenda, with the almost trebling of allowable tuition fees to £9,000 per annum being the centrepiece of the new policy. But what impact will this have on demand for higher education? UK government policy has historically been a key driver of demand.  Demand for higher education in the UK comes from UK and EU students, and international (non EU) students. Demand is driven by the absolute population of potential applicants and the application rate.

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