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.
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BT today announced that Oxfordshire is to benefit from plans to create 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs in the UK this year.
Thursday mornings weather for the east of the region
Thursday mornings weather for the west of the region