UCAS reports rise in higher education engineering applications
01 February 2013
UCAS' statistics on applicants for full-time undergraduate higher education in the 2013 application cycle show an increase in applications to engineering and the physical sciences. Overall, there was a 3.5 percent headline increase in the number of applicants to institutions across the UK compared to the same point last year.
Application rates, which take population changes into account, show that the proportion of English 18 year-olds applying in 2013 has increased by one percentage point. The application rates of 18 year-olds across the UK are at, or near, their highest recorded levels.
Significantly, UCAS reports an 8.4 percent increase in applications to engineering courses and a 12.3 percent rise in applications to computer sciences courses. Physical sciences saw a 6.6 percent rise and mathematical sciences, a 3.6 percent rise.
Commenting on the figures, Verity O’Keefe, Employment & Skills Adviser at the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), said: “Manufacturers rely on STEM graduates to alleviate the skills shortages evident in the industry so it’s great to see the number of engineering applications increase this year. There are ample opportunities for engineering graduates and many find themselves with attractive pay packages and swiftly climbing the career ladder. It seems this message is beginning to get out there.
“We want to remain ambitious and ensure that this figure increases year or year to meet growing demand. We must then ensure that take up of STEM subjects occurs at all key stages preceding HE [higher education], encouraging more STEM specialists into schools and inviting industry experts to demonstrate how knowledge of these key subjects is applied in the real working world”.