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The UK Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) has released its data on student enrolments and qualifications for the academic year 2007/08. HESA notes a 6 percent increase for EU students from 2006/07, while the number of non-EU students increased only by 4 percent. At the same time, domestic enrolments dropped by 1 percent. Non-UK students accounted for 20 percent of all students awarded higher education degrees in the UK. The HESA figures also expose a significant drop in part-time students, namely 3 percent, while full-time enrolments increased by 2 percent. The university think tank million + has expressed concern about this drop, and attributes it to the government’s decision to exclude part-time students from certain loan and grant support packages.
However, if the latest figures from UCAS on university applications for 2009/10 are any indication, these numbers are likely to increase in the next academic year: applications from non-UK students have already risen by 11 percent from last year. Applications from domestic students are also showing a strong increase, reversing the decline noted in 2007/08.
It remains to be seen if what now seems a positive trend, will become a reality for the 2009/10 UK enrolments, despite the gloomy times that have been forecasted.