Undergraduate applications by home and overseas students to study at Lancaster University were up by 26% when compared with last year’s statistics, according to information given by Paul Groves, who oversaw this year’s admissions process.
Such was the popularity of the University that no places were offered to students applying through the UCAS Clearing system. Groves attributed this not only to the quantity, but – crucially – the quality of applicants seeking to enter in the 2011-12 academic year.
Groves stated: “Average A-Level grades from students’ best three A Levels for 2011 entry will be AAB, compared with ABB for 2010 entry.”
On the issue of Clearing, Groves added that the majority of places were filled by students meeting the exact entry requirements. With no shortfall to make up, the University did not need to offer any places through Clearing. This will no doubt have impacted upon those students who, having narrowly missed the conditions of their offers, were nonetheless clamouring for a place elsewhere in order to avoid the imminent hike in tuition fees.
Not only do these statistics reflect the positive status of Lancaster as a university, as indicated by the demand for places by high-calibre candidates, but they also foreshadow the increase in competition for university places that may be a result of the recent fees increase.
In anticipating the impact on Lancaster, Groves commented that “although the effect of the new tuition fees on applications for 2012 entry has yet to be seen, all the current indications are that Lancaster is well-placed to maintain both the level and quality of its undergraduate intake.”
That Lancaster enjoys a prestigious status and high quality teaching and learning is demonstrated by the high position occupied by the University in The Times’ ‘Good University Guide 2012’, in which Lancaster ranks ninth overall out of over 100 universities. In the Guardian’s equivalent rankings, Lancaster is placed at number seven.
The esteem with which Lancaster is increasingly regarded must only bode well for the coming Higher Education reforms, by which the Government hopes to encourage higher academic standards through increased competitiveness between institutions.
As far as the students themselves are concerned, future applicants paying almost treble the current rate in fees will no doubt want to ensure they get their money’s worth from the quality of their education experience. As a current top-ten UK institution, Lancaster is well-placed to offer such a prospect to future undergraduates, as this year’s popularity amongst applicants has shown.