University applications in 2007 'highest ever'

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The latest figures from Ucas suggest that 2007 could feature the highest number of university applications ever, according to higher education minister Bill Rammell.

Today's figures, which are the highest ever at this point in the application cycle, update those released in February this year and take into account applications which were submitted to Ucas up until March 24th.

Between January and March, the numbers of applicants from England rose by six per cent, year-on-year, and that the number of applications in "strategic subjects" like the sciences and foreign languages has "increased significantly".

The number of foreign applicants to English universities has also increased.

"I'm delighted to see that applications for university entry continue to roll in," Mr Rammell said.

"I am also pleased to see an increase in the numbers applying to university since last year, as well as an increase on the bumper number of applications we saw in 2005."

He added that the figures showed tuition fees had not dampened the interest in higher education and said that criticism of the system was "being proved emphatically wrong".

Mr Rammell also commended the figures that show applications from the bottom four socio-economic groups have increased by nearly half a per cent on last year.

"This is good news, we know we have further to go but we are committed to widening participation in higher education and with the improved student finance package all students, no matter what their background, should be confident that there should be no financial barrier to them studying at whichever university or college they choose," he added.

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