The Times, August 30th 2005, p.1
A record number of universities are closing their doors to applicants after an unprecedented scramble for places by students desperate to avoid higher tuition fees.
The Independent, August 2nd 2005, p.16
Record numbers of young people are shunning traditional three-year degree courses and opting to earn as they learn with the Open University. Students say the prospect of debt has been the reason for deciding against starting a degree at a conventional university. Surveys have shown that the average student can clock up debts of £12,000 by the end of a three-year course. An Open University (OU) course costs about £500 a year. The latest figures from the OU show that the numbers of students aged 18 to 25 have trebled in the past decade from 3,887 to 11,525.
Public Finance, July 8th - 14th , 2005, p. 26 - 27
The financial outlook is healthy for the majority of UK higher education institutions who are well set to face the challenges of the twenty first century. The author also reports on the 24% of HE institutions with operating deficits. While faculty closure is seen as imprudent, in the light of projected increases in the uptake of places in line with government targets for numbers in higher education, the Higher Education Funding Council recommends partnerships rather than government intervention for safeguarding vulnerable and strategically important subjects.
T. Halpin and A. Blair
The Times, August 19th 2005, p.1
A desperate scramble to avoid higher tuition fees was blamed last night for a rush by tens of thousands of students to find university places through clearing. Record numbers of teenagers claimed places at university leaving nearly 100,000 to fight it out for just 37,000 vacancies. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) said around 60,000 applicants would be left out.
(See also The Independent, August 17th 2005, p.9)
The Times, August 19th 2005, p.6
Sixth-formers will face a "double whammy" of admissions tests and A levels to help universities pick out the very best, unless the government reforms the exam system, head teachers said yesterday. David Hart, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said that a failure to act risked creating divisions between the state and independent sectors. A proliferation of university entrance tests would favour private school pupils.