Applications to Universities Drop in the UK

February 3, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. application 
[ap-li-KEY-shuhn(n.) – a written request for something
Example: Before graduation, the university student submitted his application to an international company.

2. threefold [THREE-fohld(adj.) – multiplied by three; three times the number
Example: The good worker was offered a threefold increase in salary upon promotion.

3. consequent [KON-si-kwent, -kwuhnt(adj.) – resulting from an action that has happened before
Example: The rising tax requirements cause a consequent increase in tuition fees.

4. definitive [dih-FIN-i-tiv(adj.) – final and complete
Example: The results of the study can only be called definitive if all the data have been analyzed.

5. fall behind [fawl] [bih-HAHYND(phrasal v.) – to not be at the same level as others
Example: Many universities in Asia fall behind Western universities in terms of making researches.

Read the text below.

Data taken last December 17, 2012 by the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) in the UK show a drop of 6.3% in university applications compared to the previous year. This is the lowest number of applications since 2009.

UK Universities saw the highest number of applications in 2011; but in 2012, university tuition fees in the UK increased threefold and there was a consequent drop in student applications. University leaders hoped that the situation would improve by 2013 and more students would apply to universities.

A UCAS spokesperson says the data taken last December 2012 is not definitive. Students may just be taking their time considering which universities to apply to. In the past, universities received 40% of the applications in the month just before the deadline.

The deadline is on January 15, 2013. The official number of applications for the year 2013-2014 will be released by UCAS at the end of January.

Sally Hunt, the General Secretary of the University and College Union, says increasing tuition fees will definitely affect the decision of students to continue studying or not.  Hunt says the brightest people must be encouraged to follow their dreams and supported while studying in the universities. The UK must not be allowed to fall behind other countries that are now seeing an increase in students and graduates, Hunt added.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that students value university education in your country? Why or why not?
·         How can students be encouraged to enter universities and to study well while in college?

Discussion B

·      Do you think education in your country is of high quality compared to education in other countries? What makes you say so? 
·         What changes to the current education system would you like to happen?


February 3, 2013