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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 06:00 GMT
More students apply to university
The Ucas figures are expected to show a rise in applications
The number of students who applied for UK university courses in the autumn has reached record levels, statistics are expected to show.

Figures from the university admissions service, Ucas, are expected to show a rise in applications of more than 5%.

The rise is the first sign that higher fees are not deterring students.

Since September 2006, students in England have had to pay up to 3,000 a year towards tuition, although not until after graduation.

When these so-called "top-up fees" were introduced last year, applications fell 3%.

Government ministers and universities will be relieved that this trend has not continued.

The initial slump in applications may have been a one-off effect, similar to the one-year decline in 1998 when tuition fees were first introduced (then about 1,000 a year, but paid upfront).

The figures could show an overall increase in applications of 7%, although there are big variations between individual universities and across the different parts of the UK. Full details will be published by Ucas later.

In a separate report, the umbrella group Universities UK found there was no correlation between the level of fees charged by universities, or the bursaries offered, and the level of applications.

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Why applications have recovered since last year

Universities offer more bursaries
14 Feb 07 |  Education
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18 Oct 06 |  Education
Rise in student fees 'inevitable'
03 Oct 06 |  Education
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31 Aug 06 |  Education

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