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Commenting on the UCAS January deadline statistical release, Bright Blue researcher James Dobson said:

“Today’s UCAS statistics show that it is a myth that tuition fees deter young people with the necessary grades from applying to university. More people participating in higher education is good for individual and national prosperity. Universities are also benefiting substantially from this. It is time for them to pay more towards keeping the tuition fees system fiscally sustainable.

“Today’s statistics also reveal a fall in the number of mature applicants. Transforming people’s life chances requires access to learning throughout their lives. This is increasingly true in a labour market that demands longer and more changeable careers. We also know that there has been a dramatic decline in part-time higher education entrants in recent years. If Government is serious about social mobility, the priority now should be improving participation in lifelong learning.”

Bright Blue’s recent report, Going part-time, highlighted the dramatic decline in the number of part-time higher education (HE) entrants in England.

  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the number of part-time undergraduate entrants plummeted by 55%.
  • To support lifelong learning, Bright Blue is calling for the introduction of a lifetime HE tuition fee loan account so people are given sufficient financial support to upskill and reskill throughout their lives. In order to ensure that one of the main beneficiaries of HE also pay their fair share, we believe that government should also introduce a ‘graduate levy.


Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on or 07543759844.