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Students rush to beat university fee deadline watch

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    Students rush to beat university fee deadline
    By Glen Owen



    UNIVERSITIES face chaos next year as students rush to apply to courses before the introduction of higher tuition fees.
    Research has shown that the number of applications is likely to rise by up to 67,000, with at least 27,000 of the extra candidates coming from independent schools, in the last year before fees of up to £3,000 a year are put in place.

    Admissions officers will be placed under unprecedented strain, competition for places will be stiffer and the Government’s plans to increase the proportion of students from state schools could be wrecked at a time when it is facing claims that top-up fees will deter working class pupils.

    Charities and industry groups are also lobbying ministers over an expected slump in the number of students able to go on gap-year placements. They have united with political opponents to demand a fee exemption for pupils who leave school in 2005 and defer their place for a year.

    Research into the intentions of sixth formers by the Liberal Democrats has concluded that 67 per cent of potential “gappers” will abandon their plans and rush into university to avoid being among the first group of students to pay the higher fees. The figures are backed up by the expectations of gap year groups.

    Last year, according to Ucas, the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service, 29,139 applicants out of a total of 368,115 deferred their entry to higher education for a year, more than double the number doing so a decade ago.

    A further 30,000 to 60,000 took a gap year by default, leaving their application until after they had left school.

    The study, which took 2,500 responses from pupils in 311 schools, concludes that a stampede by both groups will push applications up by a record 16 per cent.

    Independent schools which account for just 9 per cent of the school population provide about 40 per cent of the gap year market. Although pupils from the private sector tend to come from wealthier backgrounds, the fact that they are likely to be among the two thirds of undergraduates not receiving any financial assistance under the new regime is expected to encourage them to go straight on to courses.

    If the measure to raise fees from the current £1,125 is passed by Parliament, pupils filling out application forms next year for entry in 2005 will be the last to escape. When university fees were first levied in 1998, the Government agreed that applicants in 1997 who deferred their place to take a gap year should be exempted.

    A stampede of applications from the fee-paying sector would place admissions processes under intense scrutiny. There have been growing complaints from headmasters that universities such as Bristol, Durham and Edinburgh are already responding to government pressure to widen access by discriminating in favour of state school candidates.

    The research concludes that applications will “increase in both quantity and quality . . . less able candidates will find they are up against increased and stronger competition. Consequently they are more likely either to be offered a course for which they are not best suited and will drop out, or not be offered a place at all.”

    In addition, it says, those who have forgone a year off are often “late developers who need the extra time that a gap year would provide. If they feel under pressure to enter university before they are ready, drop out rates may increase . . . the drop-out rate among pupils who take gap years is negligible”.

    A gap year costs a minimum of £3,000 for trips lasting up to six months, according to gap-year.com. This compares with tuition fees of up to £12,000 for a four-year course.

    It is estimated that charities such as Voluntary Services Overseas, The Year Out Group and GAP Activity Projects will lose more than 14,000 students, putting many projects in peril.
    Taken from http://www.the-times.co.uk

    Sorry for the cut and paste job, but is it just me that find's this situation startling? If the universities expand to cope with the huge influx in numbers, then they will be left with a huge surplus the next year and run far over budget. If they don't invest, then universities will be foced to deal with largr class sizes, meaning that the quality of education is likely to drop or more people will be denied the chance to get into univeristy and be forced to reapply the next year like the article suggests.

    Any thoughts?
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    This concerned me as well....
    I'm not entirely sure y the quality is supposed to go up though, really, or is that just because we have more people applying of all abilities.
    I'm not convinced that this will only affect the less able, as surely those most likely to go on gap years are the better off, who will be applying to the top unis?
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    (Original post by paymaster)
    This concerned me as well....
    I'm not entirely sure y the quality is supposed to go up though, really, or is that just because we have more people applying of all abilities.
    I'm not convinced that this will only affect the less able, as surely those most likely to go on gap years are the better off, who will be applying to the top unis?
    Agreed. It affects everybody. Although, if you have a large influx in the number of rich and able students applying to the top universities, might this not discourage students from applying to top universities if they think they have more chance of being accepted in lower status universities as they would be more likely to get in before the cut off?

    I'm not interested in taking a gap (at least before uni), so that part of the article has less weight for me, but I can appreciate that if there have to be large cutbacks on the gap system from the major companies, then this may well affect the quality and quantity of gap offers available in the near future when the higher fees do come in.

    Yeah, I read that. It's good news for me, I suppose, since there will be 67 000 less candidates the year after when I'm applying.
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    thats exactly why I haven't taken a gap year this year! EVERY1 i have spoken to at school (independant) isnt taking a gap year next year becuase of the top up fees - ie everyone is applying next year. poor admissions tutors - its gunna be hell!
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    (Original post by emzie)
    thats exactly why I haven't taken a gap year this year! EVERY1 i have spoken to at school (independant) isnt taking a gap year next year becuase of the top up fees - ie everyone is applying next year. poor admissions tutors - its gunna be hell!
    Yep i agree! My poor bro really wants to take a Gap year but i think he will end up applying next year!!!! Poor Sam!
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    I suppose it also has to be considered by those who are considering reapplying to Oxbridge who have not received an offer. If the unis turn these people down again, they'd have to pay the top up fees.
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    (Original post by meepmeep)
    I suppose it also has to be considered by those who are considering reapplying to Oxbridge who have not received an offer. If the unis turn these people down again, they'd have to pay the top up fees.
    That would be sooo harsh. Its almost unfair...
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    (Original post by meepmeep)
    Taken from http://www.the-times.co.uk

    Sorry for the cut and paste job, but is it just me that find's this situation startling? If the universities expand to cope with the huge influx in numbers, then they will be left with a huge surplus the next year and run far over budget. If they don't invest, then universities will be foced to deal with largr class sizes, meaning that the quality of education is likely to drop or more people will be denied the chance to get into univeristy and be forced to reapply the next year like the article suggests.

    Any thoughts?
    I agree. I will be applying for uni in 2005 now insted of 2006. My original idea was to go back packing for six months then start a law degree, but with the top up fees after i finish the law degree, did the entrence exam and the training iwould possible be paying debts till am dead, i think it would be about £40,000 - 50,000!!! So not worth it. So am applyin for 2005 and i dont want to, and if the artical is true a law course will be so much harder to get onto.
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    people who apply for deferred entry can still take a gap year and will be paying under the same fee levels/system as those who applied for direct entry in 2005 (this is what happened in 1997/98 when tuition fees were first introduced - there was a huge rise in app numbers but the rise was in deferred entry applicants who took a gap yr and started studying in 98 paying on the old system).
    No this will not happen again. The top-up fees legislation includes a clause which prevents people on deferred entry being able to claim under the old system.

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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    Really - sneaky buggers...
    Yep. Charles Clarke (the man who had a living expenses grant when he went to university and didn't have to pay fees) announced it the other day.
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    You mean Charles Clarke ex-president of the NUS?
    That'd be the one. I see he's still arguing about student issues even today...
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    Can I just ask a stupid question about the increase in student fees. Say like they were to introduce them in 2 years time and I started my course in September 2004, would I have to start paying the higher annual fee like half-way into my course? Or does it only apply to those who start their courses when the higher fee is introduced?
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    (Original post by jediknight007)
    Can I just ask a stupid question about the increase in student fees. Say like they were to introduce them in 2 years time and I started my course in September 2004, would I have to start paying the higher annual fee like half-way into my course? Or does it only apply to those who start their courses when the higher fee is introduced?
    Nope. Only applies on those people entering higher education from the year they are introduced.
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    (Original post by meepmeep)
    Nope. Only applies on those people entering higher education from the year they are introduced.
    Thank god for that! Then I feel sorry for my sister who's only in Year 8 at the moment.....lol.
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    Can someone enlighten me on the 2006 fees...
    They are £3000... for those starting 2006.
    Now I heard that it is the current fee of £1125 PLUS a "top-up fee" of £3000, for which you receive a loan till after graduation. So you will be paying a total of £4125 pa.
    Is that true. I was the told the new fee of £3000 is a topup fee. If it was just £3000 on its own, you'd wouldn't be calling it a top fee, would you?
    Now will all European applicants be able to receive a loan of £3000, or just some. IF some, on what basis... nationality, means testing?

    I know that if you pay the £3000 topup early on, you get a big discount...how much? Yet another gimmick by the Labour govt to favour the bourgeois!
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    (Original post by jediknight007)
    Thank god for that! Then I feel sorry for my sister who's only in Year 8 at the moment.....lol.
    yeah
 
 
 
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