The Evening Standard is reporting a warning that new universities in London face a battle to attract A-level students this year because of a “double whammy” of changes to admission rules and money worries.
London colleges outside the elite Russell Group of universities could be left without enough students to fill course places after A-level results are published on Thursday, experts warned. Universities outside the capital are already targeting teenagers with the prospect of cheaper living conditions, following George Osborne’s announcement that maintenance grants will be scrapped from next year.
But changes to rules on student numbers will also have an impact. For the first time the cap on student numbers has been lifted, so universities can take as many students as they like.It means non-Russell Group universities can no longer rely on benefitting from the “overspill” of bright pupils who missed out on places at top institutions. Some universities have already responded by handing out un-conditional offers to ensure they grab the best pupils.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: “Some Russell Group universities have given unconditional offers and a lot of their places are already spoken for. They might not have any places available after Thursday. But the newer institutions may be struggling to fill their places.”
He added that the problem will be worse for universities in London because they could also lose students who are put off by its high cost of living…
I guess all’s fair in terms of encouraging applications and this is probably a meaningful issue for universities outside of London to promote themselves on.
Your thoughts? Is the attraction of London a big enough draw to overcome concerns over costs?
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