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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 22:00 GMT
University applications on rise
University students
The figures relate to admissions in 2005
More people are applying to study at Welsh universities, according to figures released by the admissions service Ucas.

The University of Wales, Newport, has seen the biggest rise in Britain, with 42.9% more people applying for courses.

It follows the absence of the word college from its title as of last year.

At Cardiff University - the largest of Wales' 11 higher education institutions - there have been 4,000 extra applicants, up 15.6% on last year.

Every Welsh institution saw a rise with Lampeter the second-highest, up 15.8%. The figures relate to applications for people wishing to enter universities in 2005.

The increase at Newport is more than four times the UK-wide average of 9.6%.

University applications
Uni of Wales, Newport +42.9%
Uni of Wales, Lampeter +15.8%
Cardiff University +15.6%
Swansea Institute +14.3%
Trinity College Carmarthen +11.6%
Uni of Glamorgan +9.3%
Uni of Wales, Bangor +8.9%
Uni of Wales Swansea +7.2%
Uni of Wales, Aberystwyth+7.1%
UWIC +6%
NEWI +0.5%

University Vice-Chancellor Professor James Lusty said the increase was a remarkable improvement on the 14.7% rise witnessed last year.

He said that one of the main reasons for it was a new range of courses.

"We also feel that another reason is because we have changed name to reflect our new status as a full constituent member of the University of Wales.

"The change of name has brought our university to the attention of a wider audience and it is clear that they like what they see and what we have to offer," he added.


Elsewhere, Cardiff University has also benefited in the wake of a name change - it no longer brands itself as part of the University of Wales, and has seen applications rise by 15.6%.

But finances may also be playing a part. With tuition fees due to be introduced in England from 2006, it could be an added reason to chose courses on the Welsh side of the border.

Geoff Edge, from University of Wales, Newport, told BBC Wales: "It must be partly due to the changes in the fees structure."

Rhys Williams, who is applying for university this year, said money had played a part when making his choices.

"That was one of the many pros and cons that came into it - do I want to go through this process and end up in a lot of debt," he said.

Across the UK, a total of 77.6% of applicants applied electronically via the UCAS' web-based service - up from 56.7% the year before.

Last month, Ucas figures showed that fewer students were leaving Wales to go to university in England, and that more students were starting university after the age of 25.

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