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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK
Scots university applicants fall
Lecture hall
Fewer people from Scotland are applying for university places
The number of people from Scotland who are applying for places at universities has continued to fall.

Umbrella body Universities Scotland said it was concerned by new Ucas figures which showed that applications had dropped by 1% in the past year.

It is the second year in a row of falling applications from Scotland, despite an increase from elsewhere.

Universities Scotland said the figures were due to "ill-judged comments" that Scotland had too many graduates.

The figures showed that in the last year England had seen a rise of 6% in the number of its residents applying to university.

Despite the hysteria, the mass influx of English students is again unlikely due to the modest increase in English students applying to Scottish institutions
Alastair Hunter
UCU Scotland president

The number of people applying from EU countries (other than the UK) were up by 14.3% and applicants from countries outside of the EU were up 5.5%.

However, the figures also showed that the number of people applying to higher education institutions in Scotland was up by 1%.

The figures for England were up by 6%.

Alastair Hunter, president of the University and College Union (UCU) Scotland, said: "We need to do more to encourage Scots to apply for higher education, as simply lifting the caps on recruitment will not work if the pool of applicants is diminishing.

"This is not only about the viability of our universities but also the future of a smart successful Scotland.

"'Despite the hysteria, the mass influx of English students is again unlikely due to the modest increase in English students applying to Scottish institutions."

He added that potential students were delaying entry to higher education to avoid debt and the graduate endowment, as those applying at 21 years or over had increased for the second year in a succession.

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