East London University applications fall by more than 10 per cent

Applications to East London’s universities have fallen by more than 10 per cent compared to last year, prompting fears that people are being priced out of further education.

The number of people applying to Queen Mary University in 2012 fell by nearly 3,000 on last year’s figures, a decrease of 11.1 per cent. The University of East London was also badly affected, with 18 per cent fewer applications this year compared to the last.

Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, blamed higher tuition fees for the reduced demand.

He said: “Two big universities in East London, where many of my constituents attend, have seen their numbers crash. We shouldn’t price anybody out of university and we should be investing in the future now. It’s time the government reconsiders its policy so everyone has the choice to go to university.”

A spokeswoman from Queen Mary in Stepney Green said: “Our performance in recent months has been robust in the face of changes in Government policy and the increase in tuition fees.

“Work to strengthen our recruitment performance for 2013 is already underway, and we anticipate a more robust recruitment round this year following our admission to the Russell Group of leading research-led UK universities.”

The University of East London’s Vice-Chancellor, Selene Bolingbroke, added: “Since these figures were published we have had a lot of further activity in clearing, but it is true applications are down compared to last year’s all-time high.

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“Any prospective students who may be put off by the cost should remember they don’t have to pay fees up front, and we have generous support packages available to help with living costs.”