Tens of thousands fewer students started university courses this autumn following the move to triple tuition fees, it has been suggested.
Concerns were also raised about the "worrying" drop-off in men entering higher education in the Ucas report on university entry for 2012 revealed.
The report suggests that the fall was affected by fewer people deferring their degree last year so they could avoid paying newer, higher tuition fees.
Students who began degree courses this autumn were the first to pay tuition fees of up to £9,000.
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