Portsmouth university applications down by nine per cent

Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

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THE number of people applying to study at the University of Portsmouth has dropped by nine per cent this year – compared with eight per cent across England.

A total of 26,000 applications were made for some 5,000 places – and early signs show physics and languages were popular subject choices.

Prof John Craven, vice-chancellor, is confident all places will be filled.

He said: ‘We certainly expected applications to go down.

‘My guess is that it is more down for mature students who have greater choice – unlike 18-year-olds.

‘It all boils down to the image of the tuition fees and people being put off the idea of university costing them a lot more.’

Dr James Hicks, branch chairman of the University and College Union, added: ‘The tuition fees is the explanation that has been put forward, but the prolonged economic downturn must have some part to play in the decrease in applicants.

‘The thought of taking out a £30,000 loan seems like a lot of money.’