Exeter University has student boom
Recent figures show a 35% rise in the number of Exeter students
Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service have shown that some of Britain’s top universities, including Exeter, have grown by more than a third in just two years.
According to UCAS, the number of UK students has risen by 35 per cent at Exeter.
Amidst government reforms that give universities more freedom to recruit students, the figures reveal that institutions such as Exeter, Bristol, University College London, Aston and Newcastle have benefited the most.
Whereas some new universities have seen their entry rates cut by more than a quarter, Exeter and Bristol have taken on more than 1,000 additional British undergraduates since 2011.
The increase is a consequence of a Coalition policy to allow universities to recruit unlimited numbers of students with good A-levels, whilst strictly capping places for other applicants.
However, next year these number controls will be completely abolished, opening up the possibility of an even larger increase in students, as more undergraduates with relatively poor A-levels are let in.
It has been suggested this may mean too many people are being pushed into taking degrees, but David Willetts, the Universities Minister insists: “There are people who haven’t achieved ABB in their A-levels who can still benefit from going to university.”
He also added: “In the very long run it is absolutely clear that one of the most powerful single things you can do to improve productivity, to improve the performance of your economy, to raise your growth rate, is to have more people with graduate-level qualifications.”