THOUSANDS of students have applied to join the University of Huddersfield – even though tuition fees look set to soar.
The University is bucking a national trend, which has seen a big drop in the number of applications from would-be students for 2012 – the year when the £9,000 fees will start.
Huddersfield, which has set fees at £7,950, has seen a good number of applications at the end of the first stage for applications.
It is below last year’s record rise of 14.4%, when there were about 4,500 new students, but is 5.6% ahead of the 2010 figures, which is a more realistic comparison.
Last year’s figures here and across the UK were skewed because it was the final year before the big rise in fees.
National figures released yesterday by Ucas, which manages applications to UK higher education, reveal that the number of students applying for courses starting in autumn 2012 has fallen by 9%, compared with this year.
Last year the University of Huddersfield saw almost 21,000 applicants for places in 2011.
Officials described it as a “freak year,” when all universities experienced a rush of applications from people trying to get a place before the annual fees rise dramatically in 2012.
However, officials say that applications for Huddersfield in 2012/3 are 5.6% up on two years ago, which is a more realistic comparison. This is in contrast to the national trend, which shows a drop in applications of 3% over the same period.
John Ramsdin, PR manager for Huddersfield University, said: “We are in a very competitive market in terms of the quality and price of education and we are very happy with these results.
“For the University of Huddersfield to be up in comparison with the rest of the sector is very good at the beginning of the recruitment cycle.
“We are, however, not surprised. We have earned ourselves a good reputation over a period of time. We are well thought of with a growing reputation and that is reflected in this increase.”
There are currently 24,000 students at the university. This figure includes people at the Barnsley and Oldham campuses, part timers and students on distance learning courses. The total number of students living in Huddersfield is around 16,000.
The Government allowed universities to set fees of up to £9,000 for the forthcoming academic year, beginning in autumn 2012. Huddersfield’s fees are £7,950 per year.