- 2 updates
Universities breathed a sigh of relief today as new figures showed the number of applications for degree courses were up.
In total, there's been a 3.5 per cent increase on last year. The news follows a drop of ten per cent in England in 2011 - the first year of higher tuition fees.
The Universities of Kent, Southampton, Oxford and Bournemouth are now all reporting figures that are stable - rising - or even breaking records.
Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports and speaks to Karen Pichlman, Head of Admissions, University of Bournemouth, Steven Holdcroft, Head of Admissions, University of Kent, and Prof Alix Neill, University of Southampton.
Figures released today by UCAS show the number of students applying to go to university has risen by 3.5%
Application rates, which take population changes into account, show that the proportion of English 18 year olds applying in 2013 has increased by one percentage point.
Applications to Bournemouth University have increased by 2.5% from last year whilst Southampton has seen a 7% rise.
The number of applications hasn't returned to 2011 levels, but the signs are being seen as an encouraging step by the government.
It was thought that numbers would be down because of tuition fees and the rise in apprenticeship schemes.
Applications in Kent have previously fallen by over six percent, but have risen sharply to pre-tuition fee levels.