UCS: University sees applications soar to five times national average
- Credit: Archant
University Campus Suffolk has received almost five times the national average in applications this year.
Statistics published by UCAS have revealed a 19% rise in applications to UCS, bringing them to the highest level since 2012 when fees for the institutions were introduced.
The national rise in applications submitted before the January 15 deadline this year was just 4%.
It comes as the university campus takes steps to become an independent institution with the power to award its own degrees.
The number of applications from students outside of the region has also increased by 2% which, according to provost Richard Lister, “indicates that UCS has begun to build a reputation nationally”.
“The rise in applications is positive news for the institution as we move towards independence and gaining our own degree awarding powers and university title,” said Mr Lister.
“We have seen applications to UCS continue to grow following a period of uncertainty within the sector following the fee rise. There now seems to be a real desire from young people to develop their knowledge at university level and also amongst mature students realising the potential they have and what a degree can help them achieve.”
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In December last year the university campus announced it would be making staff cuts after failing to attract enough students.
In an email sent by Mr Lister it was revealed that about 4,500 people are enrolled at UCS, despite a target of 7,500 students by 2015.
He said: “There is a significant gap between what we earn and what we spend.” £2 million would need to be saved from the budget which came “overwhelmingly from student fees”.
Yesterday Mr Lister said the rise in applications wouldn’t affect this review.
“The restructuring is not solely to do with the number of students, it’s where the students are,” he said. “What we will be doing is making sure that we have people at the right place and in the right course… to enable us to grow.”
He said the rise in applications had been reflected across the board, “which is really encouraging”.
UCS is moving towards becoming an independent university.
Seven new members have been appointed to the UCS board in preparation for a move towards a new governance structure and gaining power to award its own degrees.
Degrees from UCS are currently jointly validated by the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia. In order for them to award their own degrees they must demonstrate effective self-government and management.