Comment on the latest UCAS application figures

Commenting on the latest UCAS application figures, Libby Aston, Director of University Alliance said:

“It is a very positive reflection of the aspiration and achievements of young people that we see another increase in applications. It is also a very good thing for generating growth, stimulating economic recovery and shaping the future of the UK economy.

“Contrary to a report published last week by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, the June statistics from High Fliers showed an 18% increase in graduate job opportunities. With 80% of newly created jobs requiring graduate-level skills it is right that the ambitions of young people would direct them to university for greater opportunities.

“What is disappointing, however, is the restriction of places for well qualified students that will leave many without a place at university and limit their future job prospects. Implementing a Graduate Contribution Scheme would enable the Government to provide additional places whilst saving public money and continuing to provide university education with no up-front cost to students.

“In a global knowledge-based economy, we need our universities to be playing a central role in driving the UK’s economic future.”


Notes to Editors

The UCAS figures will be available from their website (

Copies of our recent publications, ‘Proposal for a Graduate Contribution Scheme in England’ and ‘Efficiency, leadership and partnership: an approach that delivers shared economic priorities’ are available from the University Alliance website.

University Alliance represents 23 major, dynamic, business-like universities at the heart of the sector that deliver world-leading research with impact and are actively business focussed.

Through evidence-based policy and research, the Alliance aims to improve policymaking in higher education to the benefit of the UK economy and society.  Alliance universities educate 27% of all UK students and achieve some of the highest graduate-level employment rates. These universities offer a research informed, academic learning environment and a culture of entrepreneurialism, equipping graduates for the 21st century.

Alliance universities:

Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Gloucestershire, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

For further information, please contact: Tim Field, University Alliance on 0203 178 7491 or email

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