trends in undergraduate recruitment

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This presentation summarises the third report in Universities UK’s series 'The funding environment for universities 2014'. It examines recent trends in UK- and EU-domiciled undergraduate recruitment to higher education institutions in England. It covers a period of significant change for universities, including ongoing transition to a new undergraduate funding system, reductions in public funding for higher education, and the impact of the economic downturn. The report analyses the factors driving these trends and the challenges they present for institutions.


  • 1. Access the full report at: highereducation/Pages/Tr endsInUndergraduateRec ruitment.aspx#.U-tw- vldV8F
  • 2. Higher education brings benefits to individuals, the economy and society Premium to individual lifetime earnings for graduates of 168,000 for men, and 252,000 for women Graduates are less exposed to unemployment Increase in graduate skills contributed to 20% of GDP growth between 1982 and 2005 Graduates more likely to have better health, greater life satisfaction, more likely to vote and volunteer, and less likely to commit crime, smoke or drink excessively
  • 3. undergraduate teaching also accounts for a significant part of universities activity 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Proportionoftotalincome Institutions Figure 1: Proportion of total income from teaching grants and tuition fees for UK- and EU-domiciled undergraduates at higher education institutions in England, 201213
  • 4. How have recent reforms to funding impacted on undergraduate recruitment?
  • 5. Recruitment of young undergraduates remains strong Figure 3: Full-time undergraduate UK- and EU-domiciled acceptances by age group, 200708 to 201314
  • 6. despite the decline in the young population in the UK Figure 4: 18- to 20-year-olds in the UK population, 2007 to 2030
  • 7. and the decreasing number of A-level entries Figure 5: GCE A-level exams taken (all UK candidates), 2007 to 2013
  • 8. Reforms have had no significant impact on young participation, by gender Figure 6: Young first-year undergraduate entrants at English institutions by gender, 200708 to 201213
  • 9. ethnicity Figure 7: UK-domiciled undergraduate full-time acceptances by ethnicity
  • 10. or disadvantaged groups Figure 8: Entry rates for English-domiciled students by local participation in higher education, 2007 to 2013 (quintile 1=low participation, 5=highest)
  • 11. However, significant declines have been seen in recruitment of part-time students Figure 11: Part-time undergraduate UK and EU entrants to higher education institutions in England
  • 12. particularly for sub-degree level qualifications Figure 10: Trend in UK- and EU-domiciled mature undergraduate entrants to higher education institutions in England by mode of study and qualification type, 200708 to 201213
  • 13. The significant decline in England suggests that this is due to a combination of reforms to funding Figure 13: Change in UK-domiciled part-time undergraduate entrants by country of institution, 200708 to 201213 The Open University has been included within England.
  • 14. and impact of the economic downturn, for example on employer funding Figure 14: UK and EU part-time first degree entrants to higher education institutions in England by major source of tuition, fee 200708 to 2012 13
  • 15. Demand has also varied significantly by subject Figure 16: Change in applications by subject between 2010 and 2014
  • 16. and domicile of student Table 4: Change in undergraduate entrants between 201011 and 201213 by country of institution and domicile of student Note: Colours reflect quintiles of proportional change (dark blue highest increase, dark orange highest decrease) Source: HESA
  • 17. The combined impact of these factors has seen recruitment vary by institution, overall Figure 18: Change in full-time and part-time UK- and EU-domiciled undergraduate entrants to higher education institutions in England between 201011 and 201314
  • 18. by proportion of part-time provision Figure 19: Change in undergraduate entrants between 201011 and 201314, by proportion of full-time provision for higher education institutions in England
  • 19. by region Figure 21: Change in UK and EU undergraduate entrants to higher education institutions in England between 201011 and 201314, by region of institution and mode of study
  • 20. and type of provider Table 5: Change in number of UK and EU undergraduate entrants to higher education institutions and further education colleges in England between 201011 and 201314, by of mode study
  • 21. The full report can be accessed at dsInUndergraduateRecruitment.aspx#.U_S06fldV8E