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Students Scramble For Manchester And Salford Places

Applications up at local unis in last year before fee hike

Written by . Published on August 23rd 2011.

Students Scramble For Manchester And Salford Places

MORE THAN 138,000 prospective students have applied for a place at Manchester and Salford’s universities – but only 22,000 places are available.

According to enquiries made by Confidential, applications to the University of Manchester, University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University totalled 138,873 for 2011/2012, an increase across the bard on last year.

"UCAS has also been inundated with enquires about the clearing process, with 185,000 students chasing just 29,000 clearing places."

But the number of undergraduate places stands at just 21,792, as students thinking about a gap year scramble for a place before the hike in tuition fees kicks in next year.

Manchester universities are telling the same story as many others across the country. Applications have increased but the number of places has broadly stayed the same or in some cases, declined.

The University of Manchester, which will be charging the headline annual tuition fee of £9,000 to undergraduates enrolling in 2012, plans to take on 9.1 per cent fewer home and EU-based students than last year, even though applications have risen by 1.5 per cent, from 43,662 to 44,317.

The university is taking on 1,400 foreign students, but have had to deal with 12,138 applications for the places.

Overall undergraduate applications for the university have risen from 55,412 to 56,455, a 1.8 per cent increase, while places decreased from almost 9,000 to around 8,342.

Manchester Metropolitan University had 8,480 places available this year but encountered a 15 per cent increase in applications - more than 55,000, compared to 47,500 the previous year.

The University of Salford received around 27,418 applications for its 5,000 places this year, an increase of more than 10 per cent on 2010/2011.

University admissions body UCAS received a record 682,000 applicants this year, a one per cent rise on last year. This year’s university entrants will be last to pay tuition fees of just over £3,000 before new legislations kicks in to increase the fee cap to £9,000 next year.

A-level results also improved for the 29th year running, with the pass rate increasing to 97.8 per cent, making the scramble for places even more chaotic.

UCAS has also been inundated with enquires about the clearing process, with 185,000 students chasing just 29,000 clearing places.

The University of Salford has seen an increasing number of clearing inquiries every year for the past three years and expects more than 6,000 students to try and snatch the limited quantity of unfilled places.

A spokesman for the University of Salford said: “As this is the final academic year prior to the increase in fees in 2012, there is every reason to expect an increasing number of enquiries regarding course availability.

“There has been a significant increase in demand in subject areas such as Media, Music & Performance; Law; Health, Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences; Computing, Science and Engineering; and Environment & Life Sciences.”

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