Pat GlassNewly released figures show that more of the region’s students are continuing to shun university education after the Tory-led government’s decision to treble tuition fees.

Statistics released by UCAS, the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK, show that over 1,181 fewer people from the North East have applied study courses at University in 2012 when compared with figures for 2011.

Pat Glass, Labour MP for North West Durham and Education Select Committee member commented:

“Applications to university have fallen by over 10 percent in the north east since this time last year. The government claimed their outrageous trebling of fees and cuts to university funding of 80 per cent would make no difference to students and universities, but the dire consequences of their higher education policy are becoming increasingly clear.

“It is appalling that applications from region have fallen so much, and shows that the Tory-led government are out of touch on the costs that young people face when going to university and from the needs and aspirations of families around the country. Investing in skills is important for restoring sustainable growth to our regions, and it is devastating that the government do not recognise the importance of this.”

Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Higher Education has also emphasised that:

“Not only have the number of university applicants from the UK fallen by over 23,000 compared to the same time last year, 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.”



1.     The latest application statistics from UCAS are published at:
The number of applicants from England is 8.3 per cent lower than the same period last year. There is a drop of more than 14 per cent of applicants aged over 25 and overall applications are down 6.4 per cent on this time last year.