Education Minister welcomes rise in university applications from the most deprived areas of Wales
Y Gweinidog Addysg yn croesawu cynnydd mewn ceisiadau prifysgol o’r ardaloedd mwyaf difreintiedig yng Nghymru
Statistics published today by UCAS show a 2% rise in university applications by 18-year-olds from the most deprived areas of Wales.
The statistics show 21.6% of 18 year olds from the most disadvantaged areas applied up until the end of June, up from 19.4% last year.
The data also show a record proportion of 18 year olds from Wales applying to university. Applications reached a high of 33.6%, an increase of 0.7 percentage points.
Welsh universities have also seen an increase in applications, with a rise of 6% in applications to Welsh providers, to over 128,000.
The Welsh Government has radically reformed the student finance system in Wales in recent years, with a fundamental shift towards supporting students with their day-to-day living costs, and increased support through a mixture of grants and loans.
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said:
“I’m delighted to see these statistics, which shows that the gap between applicants from the most and least deprived areas is narrowing.
“As a Government, we believe that high-quality education is a driving force for social mobility, national prosperity and an engaged democracy.
“We’re opening up higher education to more people than ever, providing the most generous student support package in the UK. Wales is the only country in Europe which offers equivalent living costs support for undergraduate full-time, part-time and post-graduate students.
“There has also been a significant 6% increase in applications to Welsh institutions. Welsh universities lead the way for student satisfaction and research and it’s great to see more and more students choosing our universities.”
Notes to editors
UCAS Statistics - Welsh data
UCAS statistics are the primary source for full-time undergraduate student applications in the UK. They give an indication of demand for higher education.
- At the UK level, there has been a surge in applications between the January and June deadlines – an increase of 2.3% compared to the same point last year (this considers applicants of all ages and includes international and EU applications).
- There is a record high of 33.6% of the 18 year old Welsh population applying to university (an increase of 0.7 percentage points from 32.9% at the same point last year).
- There has been an increase of 6% in applications to Welsh providers to 128,110.
- There has been an increase in applicants from the most deprived areas in Wales (WIMD Quintile 1); 21.6% of 18 year olds from these areas applied compared to 19.4% at the same point last year. Applications from the least deprived areas in Wales (WIMD Quintile 5) have dropped slightly to 49.5% of 18 year olds from these areas compared to 49.8% at the same point last year. This suggests that the gap between applicants from the most and least deprived areas is narrowing.
- At the UK level, application rates increased for all POLAR4 quintiles. The percentage of 18 year olds applying from the most disadvantaged areas increased by 1.5 percentage points to 25.4%. For Welsh domiciles, the percentage of 18 year olds applying from the most disadvantaged areas increased by 1.6 percentage points to 22.1%.
- The gender gap between applicants is still apparent for Welsh domiciled applicants. Of the 18 year old population who made an application, 41% were female compared with 27% male.